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Mayor: Seattle to re-examine its helipad policy

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm •  Published: March 18, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) — The city of Seattle will re-examine its policy on helicopter landing pads in response to Tuesday's fatal crash at a downtown intersection.

Mayor Ed Murray said at a news conference hours after the wreck that the last major changes to Seattle's helipad regulations were made more than 20 years ago. They included limitations on who could operate helicopters and where they could take off and land.

"We need to look at it," Murray said of the regulations. "In consultation with the council, we will decide if we need to adjust our policies."

Tuesday's crash happened as a news helicopter took off from a helipad at KOMO-TV after refueling. The chopper went down on a street near the Space Needle, hitting three vehicles and starting them on fire.

Both people on board the helicopter died, and a man in a car was badly hurt. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

An online list of public and private airports in King County indicates Seattle has a dozen heliports. Two are run by the University of Washington; two are at area hospitals; one is operated by the Boeing Company; three are run by TV stations; and the rest are listed as private corporate sites.

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