Two confirmed dead, nine injured including one critically ill
Emergency services say two people are confirmed dead in this morning's helicopter crash, including the pilot, who has been named by sources as Pete Barnes according to the Press Association, and nine people have been taken to hospital, including a man has been rescued from a burning car and taken to hospital. One patient is critically ill.
London Fire Brigade say eight fire engines and four fire rescue units and around 88 firefighters plus officers attended this morning's helicopter crash near Wandsworth Road in South Lambeth.
The Brigade says it was called at 8am.
The helicopter crashed in foggy conditions near the River Thames at Vauxhall causing huge plumes of smoke to rise above the area and causing traffic chaos for commuters.
The crash, which is believed to have had just the pilot aboard, is reported to have hit a crane at the new St George's Tower close to the local rail and bus stations.
Two cars may also have been involved.
The accident was just down the river from Battersea Heliport, directly across the river from Fulham, which has frequent helicopter services flying in and out.
The heliport have not yet commented on the accident.
Eye witness Belinda Moore has tweeted that she thought something was wrong with the helicopter as it flew over Chelsea. Belinda, @BelsMoore tweeted:
" Helicopter was banking right as I came over Chelsea Bridge and v low. Battersea Heliport other side of the river so seemed v odd. This was really low for a helicopter banking right. I cycle that way most days,odd enough to make several of us look up."
Builder Tom Kozmal was at a nearby petrol station at the time of the crash. Tom said:
"I heard the noise of a helicopter and then a few seconds later there was a scream. I looked out to see the crane falling down and a lot of smoke. I ran over to the scene but the police were already there and told me that the helicopter had crashed."
The accident happened close to the headquarters of MI6 at Vauxhall Cross, but police have confirmed there is no suggestion of any terrorist connection.
The 50 storey high Tower at St George's Wharf is one of London's tallest residential buildings, and both it and the crane hovering above it are visible on the skyline from further along the river.
Developers St George, who are also the company behind other high rise riverfront developments including Imperial Wharf, Battersea Reach and Fulham Reach in
" We have also set up an emergency rest centre to offer shelter and accommodation to residents of the area who have been evacuated from their homes or cannot get through police cordons around the crash site.
There are two housing blocks in Nine Elms Lane that have been evacuated. Our information is these are Riverside Court and Elm Quay Court. Anyone who lives in these properties can go to the Savona Community clubroom in nearby Ascalon Street and remain there until the emergency services declare the area safe. We hope these residents will be able to return to their homes as soon as possible but until then they are welcome in the clubroom for hot drinks and somewhere warm to wait until the all-clear is given."
January 16, 2013