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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  • Pete Barnes, the pilot who died after his helicopter crashed in Vauxhall, London was one of the country's most experienced pilots, having flown choppers in Hollywood movies and ferried politicians and celebrities around the UK. Pete Barnes, 50, worked fo

    Pete Barnes, the pilot who died after his helicopter crashed in Vauxhall, London was one of the country's most experienced pilots, having flown choppers in Hollywood movies and ferried politicians and celebrities around the UK. Pete Barnes, 50, worked for "boutique" helicopter company Rotormotion and died after trying to divert the aircraft due to bad weather.

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Debris and a burned out car are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Debris (R) is pictured beside a fire fighting vehicle at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Debris and a burntout car are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Thames River police patrol after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. Two people died and nine casualties have been confirmed with one in a critical condition. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Debris and a burned out car are pictured at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Members of the emergency services prepare a stretcher as they attend to the scene of a helicopter crash in London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    The scene after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • BRITAIN-AVIATION-ACCIDENT

    Debris and a burned out car are pictured at the scene of a helicopter in central London, on January 16, 2013. Two people were killed when a helicopter hit a crane at a building site in central London and plunged to the ground on Wednesday, police said. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    The scene after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Police close off the junction of Parry Street and Wandsworth Road, after a helicopter crashed into the Crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in heavy freezing mist in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • (Credit: Twitter/craiglet)

  • (Credit: YouTube/niczerogoeshome)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A general view of the scene shortly after a helicopter crashed in the Vauxhall area of central London, after hitting a crane on top of a tower block by the River Thames, according to eye witness reports, Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo / Toby Scott, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • (Credit: YouTube/niczerogoeshome)

  • (Credit: YouTube/niczerogoeshome)

  • LondonFire London Fire Brigade 12m Pic from the scene of the #helicopter crash in #vauxhall. We were called at 8am and we put the fire out within 20mins.

    LondonFire London Fire Brigade 12m Pic from the scene of the #helicopter crash in #vauxhall. We were called at 8am and we put the fire out within 20mins.

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • (Credit: Twitter/sevitz)

  • (Credit: Twitter/Louisp55)

  • (Credit: Twitter/JakeyyL)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • (Credit: Twitter/ColinDKavanagh)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • At the scene of the crash on Corner of miles st and Wandsworth road #vauxhall #helicoptercrash

    Jessica Elgot @jessicaelgot At the scene of the crash on Corner of miles st and Wandsworth road #vauxhall #helicoptercrash pic.twitter.com/6d1nCCJe

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

    Helicopter Crashes in Central London Credit Victor Jimenez

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A group of firefighters examine the scene from an extendable ladder high above Wandsworth Road, after a helicopter crashed into the crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A section of the Crane lays in Nine Elms Lane, after crashing to the ground close to St George's Wharf tower building, where a Helicopter crashed into this morning, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A section of the Crane lays in Nine Elms Lane, after crashing to the ground close to St George's Wharf tower building, where a Helicopter crashed into this morning, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Emergency services at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A section of the crane lays in Nine Elms Lane, after crashing to the ground close to St George's Wharf tower building, where a helicopter crashed into this morning, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Police close off the junction of Parry Street and Wandsworth Road, after a helicopter crashed into the Crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in heavy freezing mist in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: Fog surrounds a damaged crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower after a helicopter reportedly collided with it, in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A general view of the damaged crane on top of St Georges Tower close to the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A general view of the damaged crane on top of St Georges Tower close to the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A general view of the damaged crane on top of St Georges Tower close to the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Emergency services at the scene of a helicopter crash in central London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Police close off the Vauxhall Cross intersection, after a Helicopter crashed into a construction Crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    Police close off the Vauxhall Cross intersection, after a Helicopter crashed into a construction Crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A small part of the emergency services on the scene at Vauxhall Cross intersection, after a Helicopter crashed into a construction Crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.

  • Helicopter Crashes in Vauxhall, South London

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 16: A police officer stands outside a residential bliock near to the scene where a helicopter crashed in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England. According to reports, the helicopter hit the crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower before plunging into the road below during the morning rush hour. Two people died and nine casualties have been confirmed with one in a critical condition. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Helicopter crash in London

    A section of the crane (top left) lays in Nine Elms Lane, after crashing to the ground close to St George's Wharf tower building, where a Helicopter crashed into this morning, in Vauxhall south London.