LONDON -- A helicopter crashed into a crane and fell on a crowded street in central London during rush hour on Wednesday, sending flames and black plumes of smoke into the air. The pilot and one person on the ground were killed and 13 others injured, officials said.
The helicopter crashed in misty weather just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and close to the headquarters of spy agency MI6.
Police said one person had critical injuries. Six were taken to a nearby hospital with "minor injuries" and seven treated at the scene, London Ambulance Service said.
"It was something of a miracle that this was not many, many times worse," said police Cmdr. Neil Basu.
The pilot, who was killed, had requested to divert and land at the nearby London Heliport due to bad weather, the heliport said in a statement.
"The London Heliport never gained contact with the helicopter," the statement said.
The Ministry of Defense said it was not a military helicopter, and a British security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press said the incident was not terror-related.
The horrific scene unfolded at the height of the morning commute when thousands of pedestrians in the area were trying to get to work. The weather at the time was overcast and misty with fog and poor visibility, according to weather forecasting service the Met Office.
Video on Sky News showed wreckage burning in a street, and black smoke in the area. The video from the crash scene showed a line of flaming fuel and debris. Witnesses said the helicopter hit a crane atop a 50-story residential building, the St. George Wharf Tower.