Two people died today and at least 11 more were injured - one critically - after a helicopter struck a newly-built tower and plunged into rush hour traffic in central London.
Witnesses said the helicopter - which left Gatwick Airport, Sussex, at 7:36am and was heading to Elstree, Hertfordshire, to collect an executive - was using the route of the River Thames and hit a crane at the top of the tower near Vauxhall Bridge in Vauxhall, central London, at 8am.
The helicopter, which hit the under-construction St George Wharf Tower, was reported to have been carrying a pilot but no passengers. The pilot was later reported to be dead. The aircraft struck the ground just 20 yards from Vauxhall station, which is a major commuting hub in the capital.
EYEWITNESS: HELICOPTER WAS SHAKING BEFORE IT HIT CRANE
She telephoned the emergency services having witnessed the crash with her eight year old daughter Tia at 7.55am.
She said: 'We looked up and we heard firstly the helicopter and one minute it was flying normally and the next it was being erratic.
'It was rocking and shaking from side to side and then it went straight into the arm of the crane.
'The helicopter just came spiralling down and then it hit at least one car that was driving towards Vauxhall.
'There were three loud bangs which just went "boom boom boom" and it looked as if another car was also on fire.'
|Yawezekana kuwa hii ndiyo sababu kwani huwezi kuona jengo ni lipi na Crane ni ipi kwa sababu ya ugiza giza wa foggy,Ila uchunguzi bado unaendelea si mwajua hii ni London lazima macamera yote yachunguzwe na vipimo vyote vitumike mpaka kijulikane,Ruwa Mangi ,I wish one day My Tanzania kuwa na vyombo hivi kila mahali jamani.CAMERA'S Za kukamata Mafisadi na Kila aina ya Utapeli wa Wananchi na Mali zao" R.I.P. Mlokufa kwa ajali hii "Amen"|
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Police said there was nothing to suggest a terrorism link to the crash. ‘There's nothing in our world at this stage,’ a spokesman for London's Counter Terrorism Command said. ‘There's nothing to suggest any terrorism link.’
The crash happened close to the home of Gareth Thomas, the former Welsh rugby star who is now competing in Dancing on Ice.
He tweeted his shock at the collision: 'OMG!!! In car on way to skating and just hearing the helicopter has crashed metres from my home!! Hope everyone in the area is OK.'
Local resident Colin Kavanagh told MailOnline there was a 'huge explosion'. He was having breakfast and looked out to see a huge plume of smoke and 'men in fluorescent jackets running around'.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'We had a call at approximately 8am this morning and we are dealing with an incident. We are still waiting for some further details at the moment.'
Eyewitnesses took to Twitter to report details. One said it crashed close to a railway line. Another user posted a dramatic photograph showing burning wreckage in the road.