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Stricken tower crane hanging from building after helicopter crash in London

A tower crane is hanging precariously from a 180m tall building in central London this morning after being hit by a helicopter.

Two people have died and a further nine injured after a helicopter crashed into a crane at a Berkeley Homes construction site at St George Wharf on the banks of the Thames in Vauxhall in misty conditions, Police have said.

The tower is at its full height and has been topped-out. Police said it appeared the helicopter had hit the crane on top of a building at about 8am.

London Fire Brigade said the crash happened near Wandsworth Road in South Lambeth and 60 firefighters were there. It said the crane was in a “precarious position”.

Burning wreckage lay in the road but firefighters have brought the fire under control.

A man rescued from a burning car by firefighters is one of two people taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

WSP structures director Kamran Moazami said engineers will need to assess the structure before making any decisions on how best to remove the tower crane.

“A competent engineer should be able to quickly assess the weak points and either strengthening or remove it,” said Moazami.

Moazami said engineers could improve the strength of the structure by welding.

He added that helicopter strikes on cranes is quite common in other cities with many high rise buildings such as New York.

Contractor for the project is Brookfield and structural engineer is Robert Bird.

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