Emergency services officials began receiving calls regarding a helicopter striking a crane on top of a building at approximately 8:00 a.m. GMT. The crash occurred near the mainline and underground train stations at Vauxhall.
The crash appears to be an accident and not an act of terrorism, with a spokesman for London’s Counter Terrorism Command saying
“There’s nothing in our world at this stage. There’s nothing to suggest any terrorism link.”
Chris Yates, an independent aviation expert, told Sky News
"Helicopters are not supposed to come within 500 feet of any structure such as a high-rise building, so we don't know what caused the pilot to get quite so close."
Visibility had been reported to be poor and flights in the area had been canceled according to a Reuters
Sherna Noah, who witnessed the crash, said she saw a large plume of smoke as she crossed Battersea Bridge at around 8 a.m. She went on to tell Metro News
"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."
There are reports that the helicopter hit two cars as it plummeted to the ground. A video from a witness to the crash shows the roadway blocked by burning debris and fuel.
According to the London Fire Brigade
, approximately 60 firefighters, eight fire engines and four rescue units responded to the scene of the crash at Wandsworth Road. Two people have been killed in the crash and two have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. One of those transported was a man trapped in a burning car.
Fire officials are also responding to the crane which is reported to be in a "precarious position" at the Saint Georges Wharf.
Scotland Yard has confirmed
that at least two people have been killed in the crash.
Updates will be provided as they become available.