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News Helicopter Crashes; Two Dead

helcopter crashSEATTLE, WA. — Two people are dead and one other is in critical condition after a KOMO News helicopter crashed and burned this morning near the Space Needle. Emergency personnel immediately rushed to the scene. Two vehicles were struck in the crash, witnesses said a man could be seen running from one car with his sleeve on fire. He was extinguished by officers at the scene.

KOMO-TV lost two of their own today. Bill Strothman, a KOMO-TV photographer for many years, and their helicopter pilot, Gary Pfitzner, were those who died in the crash Tuesday morning. The 38 year-old man who was on the ground and hurt by the crash has deep burns on 15-20 percent of his body, according to KOMO-TV News. He is being treated at Harborview Medical Center and was moved to the ICU and will have surgery.

Witnesses said the helicopter crashed as it was taking off from the roof of Fisher Plaza, across the street from the Space Needle. Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames within a half-hour. Traffic was diverted from the area.