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updated: 3/19/2014 10:15 AM

Deadly Seattle chopper crash has Illinois ties

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Associated Press

CAHOKIA, Ill. -- A news helicopter that crashed in Seattle, killing a pilot and another man on board, was owned by an Illinois company.

The victims of Tuesday's crash worked for Helicopters Inc., based in the St. Louis suburb of Cahokia (kuh-HOH'-kee-uh). That business also owned the Eurocopter AS350 chopper.

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Authorities say the KOMO-TV chopper crashed in downtown Seattle and burst into flames. KOMO identified the victims pilot Gary Pfitzner of Issaquah, Wash., and former longtime KOMO photographer Bill Strothman.

The aircraft was leased jointly by KOMO and KING-TV.

A message left Wednesday by The Associated Press with Helicopters Inc. was not immediately returned.

Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused the chopper to plummet.

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