9:30am Wednesday 16th January 2013
TWO people have been killed after a helicopter crashed into a crane in Central London.
Emergency services were called to the scene, near the River Thames at Vauxhall, after the aircraft hit a crane and cartwheeled before bursting into flames.
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Fire and rescue services said they were taking ''lots of emergency calls'' as eyewitnesses described seeing grey smoke towering into the sky, close to Battersea Bridge, in Vauxhall.
A spokesman for London Fire Brigade was unable to give details but said: ''We are taking lots of emergency calls at the moment''.
Only the pilot was on board the Augusta 109 helicopter, which is thought to have hit two cars as it crashed.
Police say two people have been confirmed dead. Two others have been taken to hospital.
Eyewitnesses took to Twitter to report details.
Helicopter just hit our building in vauxhall twitter.com/craiglet/statu…— Craig Jenner (@craiglet) January 16, 2013
One said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane and another said it crashed close to a railway line.
One user posted a dramatic photograph showing burning wreckage in the road.
It is believed that the helicopter hit a crane before crashing in a "massive ball of flames", said witnesses.
London Fire Service has sent 22 appliances to the scene.
A helicopter crashed minutes ago on Wandsworth road twitter.com/vctrjmnz/statu…— Victor Jimenez (@vctrjmnz) January 16, 2013
Train services at Vauxhall have been suspended.
Services at Waterloo were also briefly affetced but South West Trains say they are now running.
London Fire Brigade said it had received numerous calls about the incident and firefighters were en route to the scene.
It is believed the helicopter had crashed into two cars near to South Lamberth Road.
Shocking pic from Vauxhall RT @nic0: The remains of the helicopter fuel. It ditched into the building on the left. twitter.com/nic0/status/29…— Helen Lewis (@helenlewis) January 16, 2013
Commuter Sherna Noah described seeing a ''large plume of dark grey smoke'' as she crossed Battersea Bridge at around 8am.
She said: ''I was coming across the bridge and basically I could see a few cyclists on the bridge looking towards the water.
''I looked over to see what they were looking at and could see a pall of grey smoke coming from the south side.
''You could see a large plume of dark grey smoke.''
A woman who answered the phone at the London Heliport, in Battersea, would not comment on the fire.
This is the broken top half of the crane in #Vauxhall that the helicopter hit.They’re worried about it falling.flickr.com/photos/sevitzd…— The Sev (@sevitz) January 16, 2013
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