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Pilot survives helicopter crash at Raytheon near L.A.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A helicopter crashed on Sunday while lifting equipment from the top of a low-rise office and laboratory building at Raytheon Co.'s aerospace development complex near Los Angeles, but the pilot survived.

The cause of the crash, which occurred about 9:30 a.m. local time in the coastal city of El Segundo, about a mile south of Los Angeles International Airport, was not immediately known, but the mishap was not considered suspicious, El Segundo fire chief Kevin Smith said.

Smith said employees of the helicopter company who were working on the ground as "spotters" during the cargo-lift operation managed to pull the pilot to safety from the burning wreckage before the aircraft completely burst into flames.

The pilot, who was the only person aboard the helicopter, was taken to an area hospital with "moderate injuries," Smith said. The helicopter also hit the two-story building on the way down, setting the building itself on fire.

But few people at the time were in the building, a large complex of offices and lab facilities, and no one on the ground was hurt, Smith told Reuters.

El Segundo is home to the space and airborne systems division of Massachusetts-based Raytheon, a leading U.S. military contractor.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Peter Bohan)

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