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Friday, 18 April 2014

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London helicopter crash pilot death causes released

An official cause of death has been released for the former Cumbria air ambulance pilot killed in a helicopter crash.

Captain Pete Barnes, 50, was one of two men who died when the aircraft he was piloting clipped a crane in central London.

Scotland Yard has said that Mr Barnes died from multiple injuries, while pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, suffered severe burns and a leg injury

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

Mr Barnes had worked as a pilot on the Pride of Cumbria air ambulance.

His death has triggered tributes from those he used to work with, including medics, mountain rescue teams and fundraisers who support the charity which runs the Langwathy-based aircraft.

The men died when a helicopter clipped a high rise crane attached to The Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall, central London at about 8am on Wednesday.

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.

On Thursday, 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, who lived in Berkshire, had two children, 12-year-old Alexandra and eight-year-old Freddie, with his partner Rebecca Dixon.

People who knew Mr Barnes in Cumbria described him as a “remarkable” man.

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.

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

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