Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Helicopter Crashes In Grand Canyon, Killing 3 Tourists

Helicopter Crashes In Grand Canyon, Killing 3 Tourists

Burning wreckage at the crash site in Arizona.

The helicopter, an Eurocopter EC130 from Airbus, "crashed under unknown circumstances in the Grand Canyon" and suffered substantial damage, Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said in an email.

The three other passengers, and the pilot, were taken to hospital.

The three were killed when their helicopter crashed Saturday onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation outside the boundaries of the national park.

The aircraft, which was operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, fell down towards the western rim of the canyon, Sky News reported.

It is not clear what caused the crash though eyewitnesses say rescue efforts have been hampered by high winds.

Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley says navigating the rugged terrain in the dark made it hard for first-responders to reach the helicopter's wreckage.

A still from video footage of the crash's aftermath.

All the tourists were in their late 20s and early 30s.

Brenda Halvorson, chief executive of the helicopter company involved, Papillon Airways, said the company extended its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the dead and injured.

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