Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Three die as helicopter crashes in Grand Canyon

Three die as helicopter crashes in Grand Canyon

Four survivors of a tour helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon were being treated at a Nevada hospital Sunday (Feb. 11) while crews were recovering the bodies of three others, authorities said.

A helicopter from Papillion Airways carrying a pilot and six passengers crashed in the Quartermaster Canyon, 620 kilometers east of Los Angeles, at around 5:20 p.m.(0120 GMT Sunday), local ABC 15 news channel reported, citing Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley.

Bradley said first responders are at the scene with the four injured people, but strong winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour and rugged terrain were making it hard for crews to reach them.

He did not have details of the crash.

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The helicopter suffered "sustained substantial damage" in the accident.

Photographer Teddy Fujimoto told MailOnline: 'I followed them and I saw smoke.

Fujimoto says a few bystanders descended into the gulch to try to help the victims.

The incident left four others injured.

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An investigation will take place.

"First responders had to be flown in and walk to the crash site", he said. Immediately saw two girls. "I just felt disgusting", Fujimoto said.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the organization was assisting the National Park Service with the crash.

On its website, Papillon Airways calls itself as "oldest Grand Canyon helicopter sightseeing company".

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The source of the crash and the company that owns the carrier have not been identified as of yet, even through the helicopter was indicated in media reports to be an Airbus Eurocopter EC130.

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