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2 dead, 13 hurt after helicopter crashes in London

By CASSANDRA VINOGRAD The Associated Press

This article was published January 16, 2013 at 7:51 a.m.

— A helicopter crashed into a crane and fell on a crowded street in central London during rush hour Wednesday, sending flames and black plumes of smoke into the air. The pilot and one person on the ground were killed and 13 others injured, officials said.

The helicopter crashed in misty weather just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and close to the headquarters of spy agency MI6.

Police said one person had critical injuries. Six were taken to a nearby hospital with “minor injuries” and seven treated at the scene, London Ambulance Service said.

“It was something of a miracle that this was not many, many times worse,” said police Cmdr. Neil Basu.

The pilot, who was killed, had requested to divert and land at the nearby London Heliport due to bad weather, the heliport said in a statement.

“The London Heliport never gained contact with the helicopter,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Defense said it was not a military helicopter, and a British security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media said the crash was not terror-related.

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