KOMO Newsroom Mourns Loss Of Two Staffers In Helicopter Crash

Things have been noticeably different in the KOMO newsroom after a news helicopter crashed and burned Tuesday, killing both the pilot and a photographer.

For one, it's a lot quieter, KOMO reporter Elisa Jaffe said Thursday morning. The local Seattle station said they are "crushed" as they continue to mourn the loss of pilot Gary Pfitzner and photographer Bill Strothman--two deaths that have been described as "very tough losses" for the station.

"We're still crying," KOMO news director Holly Gaunt said. "Today, it's much more of a reflective newsroom as everyone realizes what we've lost."

"Two KOMO colleagues are gone," a reporter added. "And so is the normal newsroom noise-- the banter and laughter."

Pfitzner and Strothman were reportedly taking off to do a job when the helicopter crashed some feet away from the Seattle Space Needle.

"I think the shock has kind of worn off and given way to realization that something terrible happened just a couple hundred yards away from us," KOMO radio announcer Tom Hutyler said.

KOMO added that there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community and beyond. "Fierce" competitors, viewers and other companies have brought flowers, food and cards. All in all, the station said that there have been about five deaths in the last four years at the company.

Watch the video for the full report from KOMO News.