News helicopter crashes near Space Needle

In this photo provided by KOMO-TV, emergency personnel respond to the scene of a helicopter crash outside the KOMO-TV studios near the space needle in Seattle on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The station says the helicopter was apparently coming in for a landing on its rooftop Tuesday morning when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street. (AP Photo/KOMO-TV, Kelly Koopmans)
In this photo provided by KOMO-TV, emergency personnel respond to the scene of a helicopter crash outside the KOMO-TV studios near the space needle in Seattle on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The station says the helicopter was apparently coming in for a landing on its rooftop Tuesday morning when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street. (AP Photo/KOMO-TV, Kelly Koopmans)

SEATTLE (AP) — Two people were killed when a news helicopter for KOMO-TV crashed outside its station near the Seattle Space Needle, sending clouds of black smoke over the city during the morning rush hour.

The Seattle Fire Department said in addition to the fatalities, a 37-year-old man who managed to free himself from a car at the accident scene was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. No other details were immediately available.

The station says the copter was apparently lifting off from its rooftop Tuesday morning when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

The copter and cars exploded in flames.

Plumes of black smoke rose from the crash scene as rescue vehicles converged on the area.

Photos: News chopper crashes in Seattle

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