BREAKING NEWS: Helicopter "crashes into crane and explodes" in central London

BREAKING NEWS: Helicopter 'crashes into crane on top of tower and explodes' on South Bank. Reports one person was on board
Smoke visible this morning near River Thames in Vauxhall, central LondonLondon Fire Brigade: We've had numerous calls and are en route to scene

By
Mark Duell and Hugo Gye

PUBLISHED:

08:22 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:41 GMT, 16 January 2013

A helicopter today crashed into a crane at a building site near the River Thames in central London.

Emergency services were called to the scene close to Battersea Bridge at Vauxhall, after reports around 8am that the aircraft had hit a crane and cartwheeled before bursting into flames.

A pall of smoke was visible – and London Fire Brigade said it had received numerous calls about the incident. Firefighters were en route to the scene with 22 appliances.

Smash: A pall of smoke was visible near the River Thames in Vauxhall, London, amid reports that a helicopter has crashed

Smash: A pall of smoke was visible near the River Thames in Vauxhall, London, amid reports that a helicopter has crashed

It's believed that two cars were involved in the crash, but the helicopter was only carrying a pilot. The London Ambulance Service said it was responding to the incident but had no further details.

Eyewitness
Robert Oxley told Sky News: ‘There’s a very low hanging cloud which
means you can hardly see the top of the building and that would explain
why the helicopter hit it.

'This
is right next to Vauxhall Bus Station, which is a major commuting
point. We arrived to find the area sealed off. Suddenly everyone was
exiting their vehicles.'

On fire: One Twitter user posted a dramatic photograph showing burning wreckage in the road

On fire: One Twitter user posted a dramatic photograph showing burning wreckage in the road

A Metropolitan 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.'

Eyewitnesses took to Twitter to
report details. One said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane.
Another said it crashed close to a railway line.

One user posted a dramatic photograph showing burning wreckage in the road.

Response: London Fire Brigade said it had received numerous calls about the incident and firefighters were en route to the scene

Response: London Fire Brigade said it had received numerous calls about the incident and firefighters were en route to the scene

More to follow