A MERSEYSIDE woman who escaped the London helicopter crash by just seconds today relived the terrifying ordeal.
Joanna Moroz, 28, was commuting to work on a crowded bus yesterday when the Agusta Westland aircraft hit a crane, plummeted to the ground and burst into flames.
Two people died and at least 12 were injured in the rush-hour accident which happened in the Vauxhall area.
Miss Moroz, from Hoylake, was just yards from the crash when her bus came to a sudden halt.
She told the ECHO: “I heard a whizzing noise and a massive crash, which was the helicopter hitting the ground.
“The whole street was on fire. It was like a wall of fire. There was a sea of flashing blue lights and smoke.
“It was petrifying. My initial thought was that it was a terrorist attack.”
Witnesses reported seeing debris falling from the sky after the aircraft struck the crane before exploding into flames and plunging to the ground near Vauxhall station.
Miss Moroz, who works for radio station Talksport and used to work at Liverpool station Juice FM, said: “I missed it by seconds. There were two cars and a bus in front of us.
“I just thought what if I had got an earlier bus or if the traffic lights had changed differently.
“It was so, so close. I am a bit shaken up by it.”
Metropolitan Police commissioner – former Merseyside chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe – confirmed there were two deaths, one person critically injured and a number of others with less serious injuries.
The pilot who died was named last night by sources as Pete Barnes, who piloted helicopters in action scenes in movies Die Another Day, Tomb Raider II and Saving Private Ryan.
The helicopter clipped a crane on top of a building called The Tower in the St George Wharf development, billed as one of Europe’s tallest residential towers.
Miss Moroz told how she called her mum Anna to let her know she was OK.
She said: “My mum knew something was up because I never call her in the mornings. She didn’t know the scale of it all until she got to work.
“She was so relieved I was all right.”
The aircraft was on a flight from Redhill, in Surrey, to Elstree, in Hertfordshire.
Met commander Neil Basu said: ”It was something of a miracle that this was not many, many times worse.”