In this photo provided by KOMO-TV, a car burns at the scene of a news helicopter crash outside the KOMO-TV studios near the space needle in Seattle on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The chopper was taking off from a helipad on KOMO-TV's roof when it went down at a busy downtown intersection and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street. Two people on board the helicopter died. (AP Photo/KOMO-TV, Kelly Koopmans) MANDATORY CREDIT: KOMO-TV

Deadly Seattle chopper crash has Illinois ties

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CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) -- A news helicopter that crashed in Seattle, killing a pilot and another man on board, was owned by an Illinois company.

The victims of Tuesday's crash worked for Helicopters Inc., based in the St. Louis suburb of Cahokia (kuh-HOH'-kee-uh). That business also owned the Eurocopter AS350 chopper.

Authorities say the KOMO-TV chopper crashed in downtown Seattle and burst into flames. KOMO identified the victims pilot Gary Pfitzner of Issaquah, Wash., and former longtime KOMO photographer Bill Strothman.

The aircraft was leased jointly by KOMO and KING-TV.

A message left Wednesday by The Associated Press with Helicopters Inc. was not immediately returned.

Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused the chopper to plummet.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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