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Lack Of Approved Landing Spots Makes Seattle-Type Helicopter Crash Unlikely In SF

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A KOMO news helicopter crashes outside the television station on March 18, 2014 in Seattle, Wash. (credit: H. Quinn/CBS Seattle)

A KOMO news helicopter crashes outside the television station on March 18, 2014 in Seattle, Wash. (credit: H. Quinn/CBS Seattle)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A helicopter crash like the one that killed two people in Seattle Tuesday morning is unlikely to happen in San Francisco, because helicopters are not allowed to land in the city outside of an emergency.

For decades, residents have battled the use of helicopters and helicopter pads within San Francisco city limits due to noise and safety concerns. Major local medical facilities like San Francisco General Hospital, and the UCSF Medical campus don’t have landing pads.  There are nearly two dozen other hospital landing locations around the Bay Area. The city does allow landings at 29 city locations in certain emergency situations.

A news helicopter crashed into the street and exploded into flames Tuesday near Seattle’s Space Needle, killing two people on board, badly injuring a man in a car and sending plumes of black smoke over the city.

The chopper was taking off from the KOMO-TV station when it went down on Broad Street and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street.

Investigators say it could be months before a federal probe can figure out what caused the chopper to plummet at a busy intersection during the Tuesday morning commute.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has said lawmakers will review rules for helicopter use in the city to determine if any changes need to be made.

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