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The National Transportation Safety Board said that the news helicopter rotated 360 degrees shortly after takeoff and before the deadly crash near the Seattle Space Needle that claimed the lives of its two occupants.
Security camera footage from nearby the Seattle crash site showed that shortly after takeoff the helicopter began rotating counterclockwise before pitching forward and crashing into the street below, reports The Associated Press. None of the cameras captured video of the helicopter actually crashing.
The NTSB said in a release that the KOMO-TV helicopter "continued the counterclockwise rotation in a nose low attitude until it disappeared from the camera's field of view."
Witnesses agreed with the assessment of what happened and noted that the fire didn't begin until after the crash. They did say that they heard strange noises coming from the helicopter before it crashed.
For the moment, the cause of the crash hasn't been determined since the early report doesn't speculate and it could be up to a year before the final report is put together and released.
As previously reported, the helicopter crashed shortly after refueling on Tuesday morning. Both men, pilot Gary Pfizner and photographer Bill Strothman, died in the crash, while a person in one of the cars at the crash site was sent to the hospital.
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons