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2 Dead, 13 Hurt In London Helicopter Crash

11:06 AM, Jan 16, 2013   |    comments
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Debris and a burntout car are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London, on January 16, 2013. Courtesy Getty Images.

LONDON -- Police say it was "something of a miracle" that there weren't more deaths and injuries in a London helicopter crash on a crowded street in central London today during morning rush hour.

The helicopter had crashed into a crane before falling to the street, sending flames and black plumes of smoke into the air. Officials say the pilot and one person on the ground were killed and 13 others were injured.

The crash took place in misty weather just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and near the headquarters of the spy agency MI6.

One person has critical injuries.

Officials at the nearby London Heliport say the pilot had requested permission to divert and land there because of bad weather.

Thousands of pedestrians were in the area at the time, trying to get to work. Witnesses say they heard the helicopter hit the crane. One man says he was "100 percent sure it was a terrorist attack." He says, "There was debris everywhere," and that "people were just panicking."

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