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Thu, Jan 17, 2013

Helicopter Hits Construction Crane In Central London

Two Fatally Injured, 13 On The Ground Hurt

A helicopter impacted a construction crane on top of an unfinished residential tower in London Wednesday, resulting in the fatal injury of the only person on board the aircraft and one person on the ground. Thirteen other people on the ground were reportedly hurt in the accident.

Those on the ground were injured by burning fuel the spilled from the impact site, as well as debris. The New York Times reports that witnesses said several cars were on fire, and three people were reportedly pulled from burning cars. The crane was left dangling over the street after being struck by the AW109.

Authorities said that the pilot, identified as 50-year-old Roger Barnes, was "one of the most experienced in the U.K." with more than 12,000 hours in his logbook. He had reportedly been flying helicopters in Britain for more than 18 years on various assignments. The aircraft he was flying Wednesday belonged to a charter company called RotorMotion. He was reportedly enroute to Elstree, the site of several movie studios on the north side of the city.

CNN reports that there was a thick fog covering London Wednesday morning when the accident occurred.

(AW109 pictured in file photo. Not accident aircraft)

FMI: www.aaib.gov.uk

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