Helicopter crash: Rules for helicopter flights over central London need to be looked at, says Prime Minister

13:06 16 January 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron said the rules for helicopter flights over central London would need to be carefully looked at following this morning’s fatal crash in Vauxhall.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he also paid tribute to the “brave and professional” response of the emergency services after a commercial helicopter hit a crane on a high-rise building.

Questioned by Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey on the need to look, in the future, at helicopters flying through the capital in light of its changing skyline, with increasing numbers of skyscrapers, he agreed it was not a question for today but needed to be examined.

The Prime Minister told the Commons: “I think the point she makes about the rules for helicopter flights and indeed other flights over our capital city, I’m sure they will be looked at as part of the investigations that will take place.

“She’s right that it’s not an issue for today, but inevitably it’s something that has to be carefully looked at.”

He also praised the scores of firefighters, police and ambulance crews attended the accident, in which two people were killed and 13 were injured when the helicopter crashed down onto a street.

Mr Cameron told the Commons: “The whole House will wish to join with me in sending their thanks to the emergency services for their rapid and professional response to this situation.”

And he said: “I think everyone can see from the terrifying pictures on our televisions this morning, just how quickly the emergency services responded and how brave and how professional they were in the way they responded.”

Earlier, Mr Cameron’s official spokesman told a regular media briefing in Westminster: “The Prime Minister was very saddened to learn of the fatalities and injuries in this incident.”

He had been informed of the incident shortly after it happened, the spokesman said.

Asked whether the Prime Minister would order an investigation, the spokesman said the emergency services were taking the lead role in the initial response, and the usual investigations which take place after all such events will be undertaken.

The crash happened less than a mile down the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament and its aftermath was witnessed by a number of MPs.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris, who has a London flat just yards from the crash site, said: “I was reading my science and technology papers at around 8am when I heard a loud bang. Initially I was not aware of what happened, then it became apparent that a helicopter had crashed around 100-150 yards away from my flat in Vauxhall.

“This morning I am incredibly shaken. My thoughts are with those directly involved.”

Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan was walking towards Vauxhall when the accident happened.

She told BBC News she realised something “dramatic” had happened because of the thick black smoke.

“Within a minute there were sirens, so you felt that the emergency services were immediately reacting, which was comforting. It is a terrible, unexpected tragedy.

“I wondered if it was a bomb explosion.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, July 31, 2015
Brazil Day in Trafalgar Square is always a colourful event (Picture: Fernando Arroteia)

The Olympic Games are heading to Rio in 2016 (yes, we can’t believe it will be four years since London 2012 either) and the hype is already building. Join thousands in Trafalgar Square to celebrate Brazil Day and get a taste of what the vibrant country has to offer.

Friday, July 31, 2015
The cuddly toy 'mum' helps Edward to practise clinging and climbing as he would naturally (Photo: ZSL London Zoo)

A baby two-toed sloth is being hand-reared by keepers at ZSL London Zoo - and the pictures and video of him cuddling with his teddy-bear surrogate mum are almost too cute to bear.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Thornton Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Two women were attacked and made hostages in their own home in a terrifying raid on their Hampstead Garden Suburb house.

Friday, July 31, 2015
One of the men can be seen with a shotgun

This is the terrifying moment a masked gang armed with a shotgun and crowbars broke into a house in Gidea Park – after pulling up in a Porsche.

Friday, July 31, 2015
A 20-year-old has died after falling down a chimney at Great Cumberland Place, W1 (Picture: Street View)

A 20-year-old man died last night after falling backwards down the chimney of a seven-storey building metres from Marble Arch, police said.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more