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London Helicopter Crash Death Causes Revealed For Victims Peter Barnes And Matthew Wood

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PETE BARNES
Pete Barnes was one of the UK's most experienced helicopter pilots | Supplied

Official causes of death were released today for the two men killed in a helicopter crash in central London.

Pilot Pete Barnes, 50, died from multiple injuries, while pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, suffered severe burns and a leg injury, Scotland Yard said.

Post-mortem examinations were carried out yesterday after the men died in the incident on Wednesday.

The men died when the helicopter that Mr Barnes was flying clipped a high rise crane attached to The Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall, central London at about 8am.

Witnesses described hearing a loud bang and a flash of light as the twin-engine aircraft crashed near Wandsworth Road. Video footage and photos flooded on to social media sites showing chaotic scenes, burning wreckage and vehicles charred by flames.

Twelve people were also injured in the smash, but police said casualty figures could have been much higher.

The helicopter was on its way to Elstree Airport in Hertfordshire to pick up business tycoon Richard Caring, the Daily Mail reports.

Caring, the 62-year-old owner of the Ivy restaurant and Wentworth golf course was said to be completely unaware that the Agusta 109 aircraft had been diverted to Battersea heliport in central London due to foggy conditions.

Speaking to the Mail, Caring said that he had lost "a very dear friend".

"I flew with Pete Barnes for many years. He was a very dear friend and a very accomplished pilot. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this awful time. I am devastated for their loss," the business tycoon said.

A friend of the Caring family said: "Richard is in complete shock. He was a very good friend of the pilot and had flown with him many times. On the morning of the accident he was waiting at the airfield but was not aware that the pilot had diverted. He is very upset by what has happened."

Yesterday Mr Barnes' brother Chris said it would have been his sibling's instinct to try to minimise the number of people who were hurt.

Mr Barnes, 55, from Nottingham, said: "It's a matter of instinct, it's what pilots do. He was very good at what he did."

The pilot, from Berkshire, had two children, 12-year-old Alexandra and eight-year-old Freddie, with his partner Rebecca Dixon.

Mr Wood, from Sutton, was killed as he walked to his job as a manager at a pest control firm.

His sister Amanda Wood, 31, said he was in the area at the time because he was always early for work.

She described him as a "big guy with a big heart" who doted on his godson, his brother Darren's child. He was killed nearly a year to the day that his father Brian died from leukaemia on January 21.

Cordons and road closures remain in place around the transport hub as work continues to remove the mangled wreckage of the crane.

Building contractor Brookfield Multiplex said it hopes to complete the process by the middle of next week, while Transport for London advised drivers to avoid the area throughout the weekend.

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Helicopter Crash In Vauxhall, London
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