A news helicopter in Seattle crashed in a fiery blaze on Tuesday, killing the pilot and a photographer riding on the helicopter with him.
Gary Pfitzner, the pilot, and Bill Strothman, the photographer, were working for local station KOMO when their helicopter crashed just feet from the Seattle Space Needle.
Their deaths were announced on the air by their colleagues, who choked back their tears as they remembered the two men.
"We all know him as one of the best storytellers to have ever graced the halls of KOMO," anchor Molly Shen told viewers about Strothman. She said the deaths were "very tough losses" for KOMO.
Co-anchor Dan Lewis called Strothman a "true gentleman."
The Seattle Police Department said that another victim had been taken to the hospital:
@SeattleFire is confirming two dead in the helicopter crash, one person taken to HMC with critical injuries. This remains an active scene.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 18, 2014
At a press conference, an official from the Fire Department said that the person taken to the hospital was a 37-year-old man.
There were reports that the helicopter was taking off when it crashed.
Twitter was full of horrible images of the crash:
— Chelsie Hadden (@ChelsieHadden) March 18, 2014
This just happened pic.twitter.com/uI2acbafHm
— Meelz (@meelataruc) March 18, 2014
BREAKING: KOMO-TV says its news helicopter has crashed near Seattle Space Needle; Casualties reported.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 18, 2014
— Alex McBurney (@LiveTVDirector) March 18, 2014
— Kelly Koopmans (@KellyKOMO4) March 18, 2014
Minutes ago pic.twitter.com/W951au5tjt
— Deb Slater (@deb_slater) March 18, 2014