A FORMER Durham University student has described how he watched in horror as a helicopter crashed into a crane and plummeted to the ground in flames just 100 yards from him this morning (Wednesday, January 16).

Professional photographer Quin Murray immediately tweeted a picture of smoke billowing from the wreck in South Lambeth London.

His image went viral on the internet and was picked up and used by several national news outlets.

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Mr Murray said: “I am in a lot of shock.

“I was on my bike and it came down just a 100 yards or so in front of me.

“I saw the helicopter clip the crane and then plummet to the ground and explode. From where I was it looked as though it had landed in a building site.

“It is now clear it actually landed just the other side of the building site. There was quite a large amount of fire and a huge smoke cloud."

Mr Murray (@QuinMurray) then tweeted the picture, saying: “Helicopter just hit a crane and crashed a few metres in front of me in Vauxhall. Completely shaken.”

He said: “My parents and my friends know what my cycle route is, so I wanted them to know it wasn’t me under it.

“I tried to make my way to work, but was so in shock that I had to get off my bike and walk it.

“By that the emergency services had arrived. They arrived very quickly and cordoned everything off. They were absolutely amazing and started putting people in ambulances.”

Mr Murray attended Durham University’s Collingwood College where he read psychology. He graduated last June and works as a photographer as well as for his own tech company.