Helicopter Crash into London Skyscraper Kills 2 Near MI-6

Published:2:32 pm EDT, January 16, 2013| Updated:2:42 pm EDT, January 16, 2013|
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A helicopter collided with a crane atop an under-construction skyscraper in central London today, exploding into a fireball and crashing to the ground, killing the pilot and a person on the ground.

In addition to the two fatalities, 12 people were injured when the helicopter crashed into The Tower, one of Europe's tallest residential buildings, according to The New York Times.

BBC News reports that cars and two buildings caught fire after the burning wreckage fell to the ground, and Metropolitan Police Commander Neil Basu said that it was a miracle that the crash was not worse.

Britain’s MI6 spy agency is near the crash site, though it appears that it is merely a coincidence.

The pilot, Capt Pete Barnies, had flown helicopters in action scenes for films Die Another Day, Tomb Raider II and Saving Private Ryan, and also piloted helicopters during the Athens and London Olympics. On this day, he asked to be diverted to a different heliport because of inclement weather. Then, the helicopter hit a crane that was atop The Tower, and it is unknown if the light that was supposed to be on 24 hours a day on the crane was lit at the time of the crash.

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