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Helicopter hits crane and crashes in the Vauxhall area of London killing two
8:27am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in Travel
A helicopter crashed in central London today, killing at least two people as it plunged to the ground - click here for live updates.
Emergency services were called to the scene, near the River Thames at Vauxhall, after reports that the aircraft had hit a crane and cartwheeled before bursting into flames.
- Helicopter hit crane at St. George's Wharf in Vauxhall
- Two people have confirmed dead
- Crashed on to the main road in the area, hitting at least two cars
- Rail services in to Vauxhall were suspended but Waterloo still open
- Crane is described being in a 'precarious condition'
Fire and rescue services said they were taking ''lots of emergency calls'' as eyewitnesses described seeing grey smoke towering into the sky, close to Battersea Bridge, in Vauxhall.
A spokesman for London Fire Brigade was unable to give details but said: ''We are taking lots of emergency calls at the moment''.
Eyewitnesses took to Twitter to report details, with one user posted a dramatic video showing burning wreckage in the road:
A Met 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.''
One said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane and another said it crashed close to a railway line.
It is believed that the helicopter hit a crane before crashing in a "massive ball of flames", said witnesses.
Reports suggested that the Augusta 109 helicopter only had the pilot on board.
London Fire Service has sent 22 appliances to the scene.
It has been reported that train services at Vauxhall have been suspended.
Services at Waterloo were also briefly affected but South West Trains say they are now running.
London Fire Brigade said it had received numerous calls about the incident and firefighters were en route to the scene.
It is believed the helicopter had crashed into two cars near to South Lamberth Road.
Commuter Sherna Noah described seeing a "large plume of dark grey smoke'' as she crossed Battersea Bridge at around 8am.
She said: ''I was coming across the bridge and basically I could see a few cyclists on the bridge looking towards the water.
''I looked over to see what they were looking at and could see a pall of grey smoke coming from the south side.
''You could see a large plume of dark grey smoke.''
A woman who answered the phone at the London Heliport, in Battersea, would not comment on the fire.