UK & World News
Helicopter Crash In Vauxhall: Fatalities Named
The second person killed when a helicopter crashed in London has been named as Matthew Wood.
The 39-year-old from Sutton and helicopter pilot Peter Barnes died after the aircraft hit a crane on St George Wharf Tower, in Vauxhall, amid heavy fog.
It cartwheeled out of the sky, smashed into two cars as it hit the ground and exploded into flames.
Mr Barnes, aged 50, was the only person aboard the helicopter, while Mr Wood is understood to have been on the ground.
The pilot from the Reading area had worked for the RotorMotion helicopter charter business for 15 years and had flown aircraft during the production of films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.
"He was a very highly skilled pilot, one of the most experienced in the UK, with over 12,000 flying hours," the company said in a statement.
It added it was "devastated by the loss of a highly valued colleague and very dear friend".
The helicopter was on a long lease to RotorMotion from Castle Air Charters, whose managing director Ross Bunyard said: "We are not in a position to make any further comment, beyond expressing our sympathies and condolences to all those affected by the accident."
Twelve people were injured. Five are in hospital, including one with a broken leg, and seven were treated at the scene.
One man was rescued from a burning car.
Burning wreckage and aviation fuel covered the road, as cars caught fire and people screamed and ran seeking shelter from the flying debris, witnesses have said.
Two office buildings, five cars and two motorbikes were damaged.
Flames raged and a huge column of black smoke billowed from the crash site just off Wandsworth Road, near South Lambeth Road.
Firefighters said the crane was in a "precarious" position but ruled out any "imminent risk" of a collapse.
They urged people to stay away from the area while specialists assess the damage sustained by the crane.
Rescue crews searched the River Thames following reports that somebody had been seen in the water after the crash.
Emergency services say the Agusta 109 helicopter was on a scheduled commercial flight from Surrey to Elstree, but was diverted to Battersea due to bad weather.
Flights in and out of London City Airport, in Docklands, had been delayed earlier in the day due to poor visibility.
Shortly after the crash at around 8am, firefighters, police and ambulances rushed to the scene.
Michael Krumstets, who lives in the area, said he had seen the helicopter hit the crane and the aircraft fall "directly towards us".
"We ran from the side of the road and it hit the road just besides us ? and then it exploded," he said.
Sarah-Beth Casey lives in an apartment near the scene.
She told Sky News: "You're always worried about things like 9/11 and things like that.
"When I heard the explosion, it was like a little earthquake. It was like a gas explosion. I looked up to see debris falling off the tower."
The tower is a 185-metre (200-yard) high cylindrical block overlooking the Thames and the Houses of Parliament.
Bruce Grain, a station manager for London Fire Brigade and among the first to arrive at the scene, said the driver of one of the cars that had been hit managed to get out, while the driver of the other vehicle could not be immediately located.
"Large parts of the helicopter are in the road," Mr Grain told Sky News.
"There is debris over surrounding buildings ? three buildings."
He said firefighters had extinguished the fire.
David Cameron said rules for helicopter flights over central London would need to be carefully looked at following the accident.
The Prime Minister was "very saddened to learn of the fatalities and injuries" in the crash, his spokesman said.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the lighting of cranes and tall buildings would be reviewed, but that it would be "premature" to second guess the investigation into the collision.
Aviation expert Chris Yates told Sky News that any tall structure must have a warning light on top to alert pilots.
The question is, he said, whether there was a warning light on the crane and whether the pilot would have been able to see it in the foggy conditions.
RotorMotion says on its website that its helicopters "are fully instrument qualified to fly in poor weather conditions".
The company, whose website features pictures of famous passengers including the Dalai Lama, offered its "full support and assistance" to authorities investigating the crash.
The crash, which happened close to a railway line during rush hour, disrupted transport across central London.
Roads were cordoned off and train services were briefly suspended but are now running in and out of Waterloo station, while Vauxhall tube station was closed but has now reopened.
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what do you think?
Whoah hope no1 is seriously injured..:os
It`s not often that people walk away from helicopter crashes
I doubt the pilot was lucky enough to escape :( be a miracle if nobody was harmed. But here's to hoping,eh.
Why on earth thumbs down my comment?
Pinky, helicopter crashes are often survivable. My father was in one and all four people aboard survived. In some types of accdent, a helicopter is safer than a fixed-wing plane - clearly you know nothing about aviation.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Ooops duh at me..what can I say I'm from essex :o)
Actually mr wragg pinky commented on here before any mention of fatalities.earlier the post just said there had just been a helicopter crash.and didnt know if there had been anybody seriously hurt.dhhhhhhh
mr wragg how often is their survivors in helicopter crashes in the middle of a city like London open space maybe you get survivors but in a city center, debatable people who have joy pointing out mistakes the way you do, are usually unhappy people, FACT
Thank you shaun :o) I reg check headlines on here at least 3-4times a day as like to know what's going on around the world x
It's a bit barbed in here at the moment! How on Earth does "hope no1 is seriously injured?" suggest that Pinky is claiming to know anything about aviation? And clearly there was no information about fatalities when so many posted hoping there was none. I hate this bickering.
David that was sharp and unecessary. Pinky don't let cross and impatient people make you feel silly. Lots of us have commented on stories which then change and most of us on here have sussed that out
There has been no mention of the pilot either on TV or radio. Let us hope there are no fatalities or serious injuries..............
Gorden, please read the article again and take note of the very 1st sentence in bold writing.
The article has been updated since this post Steve so don't be so fatisious
Gordon, you need a time machine to post here or people get cross if you can't travel forward and back in time to check if stories are going to be updated before you post! We'll all look stupid in a minute when Borringe updates this one to say there was no crash at all...
Steve the articles get updated as more news comes in.
Looks like a tragic accident. Thoughts go out to those involved.
Are the people who post "I hope nobody was hurt" on this not reading the article? It clearly states that: Two people have been killed, a man rescued from a burning car, nine people were injured, with one in critical condition, at least four are in hospital, Rescue crews are searching the River Thames after reports that somebody was seen in the water after the crash. That to me says there are 9 injuries, 2 deaths and potentially 2 missing persons.
When first saw the article said more follows didn't have any more info..Its updated as the morning went on :o)
It is updated when more news is known. People are not that stupid.
Yes pinky, lots of peaple commenting when actually its them without the full facts.i noticed your comment was on here before any mention of fatalities.peaple are so rude sometimes on here.
It happens to me all the time, Pinky. You can comment relevantly, but although the story sometimes changes drastically, the comment is left there, making you feel like a numpty! Some people come here to respond to others and not the news stories - often unkindly. Let them have their little game. x
I cant see it as a game movvi but almost a form of bullying peaple at times.still its only a few peaple that just seem to come on here to belittle peaple.
Mikey the srticles change as the news comes in. but the comments remain in the same place. If you make a comment early it can seem silly once the article changes
With so many tall buildings now going up, they should all be fitted with transmitters like car reversing warning systems, with aircraft fitted with receivers to pick up the sound when closing in on them. This way they can avoid tall structures while flying in the dark or poor visability. Would you walk down the road with your eyes shut, No, but this is what is happening.
Rip .the one of the first things you learn in flight school is not to fly in low visablity.you can walk away from a helicopter crash depends on wot you hit or wot hits you
Mark as pure speculation on my part I would suspect the pilot was getting ready to go in to Battersea as would otherwise have expected him to have been above 1000 ft. Wonder if Battersea has radar? Fog and mist are not nice experiences and the pilot of this aircraft paid the price - sympathies to the families.
Do thay not. Have worning lights or transponders in uk
Yes they do have transponders but not fitted to cranes it is an inter-aircraft / ground radar device however given this event it would now seem sense that any structure above a given hight should have something fitted as Eric Coster points out. I do see the structure was around 600 feet high and I would think that the minimum transition hight over London would be 1000 feet which might suggest he was making an approach to Battersea (I do not know the site) which then raises the question of radar coverage. Bottom line is people have been killed and injured such a shame. O and as final I note the PM suggests procedures does he not realise the CAA are monitoring this sort of thing all the time.
RIP the people who have been killed.What a horrendous thing to happen
This happened tight next to the mi5 building.
Wrong! It's the MI6 building not MI5.
Hope Bodie and Doyle are OK.
Not to split hairs, but yes it is refered to as the MI6 building, but MI5 does work there too.
thanks, ground control to major tom :)
Actually robert bodie and doyal are in ci5.
I stand corrected Shaun
My last comment should also include mr dunn
Sorry this comment was meant to go on pinkys comments page.
According to BBC news the building is 1200 feet high and a helicopter pilot said the safe hight would be 2500 feet but that conflicts with Heathrow traffic. There was a notice regarding the tower so as many questions to answer as there are answers.
A thought occurred to me.i wonder how long the cranes been there.maybe its a route hes done before maybe several times and suddenly a cranes erected in the way.
A few months it would appear. It seems a few complaints were made regarding it's visibility at night and in poor weather...
I'm really surprised that it's not compulsory for them to be lit up like christmas trees, day and night, considering how high it was.
God bless them and their families - a terrible tragedy. Life is so precious, we should all try to make the most of every moment as it can suddenly be snatched away...
David Cameron said rules for helicopter flights over central London would need to be carefully looked at following the accident. Shut the stable door why don't you