London Helicopter Crash Sends U.K. Networks Into Breaking News Mode

London Helicopter crash - H 2013
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UPDATED: BBC News and Sky News on Wednesday morning switched to non-stop coverage of the accident in a Southern neighborhood of the British capital.

LONDON -- British news networks on Wednesday morning went into non-stop breaking news coverage mode following a helicopter crash over South London.

BBC News and Sky News focused their coverage on the incident, and news updates on various radio and TV stations led with the latest about the accident. But other networks continued to air regular programming.

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London police said that two people were killed and nine injured when the helicopter crashed during rush hour after hitting a construction crane on top of a building in the South London neighborhood of Vauxhall, just south of the River Thames. The helicopter hit two cars as it crashed into the street.

The location of the accident was near the headquarters of U.K. spy agency MI6.

BBC News reported that two people were taken to a hospital with "minor" injuries. It quoted British security officials as saying that the incident was not terrorism-related.

Sky News, part of pay TV giant BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake, also provided continuous coverage.

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The networks and their websites showed helicopter debris burning in a street and black smoke in the area.

The accident led to road closures and public transport route changes and delays, according to the London transport authority.

Newspaper websites quickly covered the news and led with the crash and related photos and video.

Around 10 a.m. London time, News Corp.'s The Sun tabloid led its site with the headline "2 Dead as Chopper Crashes in London." The Guardian's lead story was similarly titled, "Two dead after helicopter crash in London." And the Telegraph said: "Helicopter crashes into crane in central London: two people confirmed killed."

The chopper crash also drew wide TV coverage in France where major networks and news sites reported on the accident in the late morning hours.

In other parts of continental Europe, it didn't make big headlines. For example, a 15-minute mid-day news update on Italy's RAI didn't mention the crash at all.


Twitter: @georgszalai