The Latest: 6 Brits on helicopter that crashed in Arizona

AP News
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Posted: Feb 11, 2018 8:17 PM

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on a tour helicopter that crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing three people and injuring four others (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

The six passengers on a sightseeing helicopter that crashed during a tour of the Grand Canyon have been identified as British nationals.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on Sunday all six were British visitors. The six and a pilot were on board when the chopper crashed Saturday evening on the Hualapai Nation near Quartermaster Canyon.

Three people died and four were injured.

Hualapai Nation police Chief Francis Bradley tells the Arizona Republic that the pilot and three passengers were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital early Sunday.

Authorities haven't released the names or ages of the victims.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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2:35 p.m.

The Nevada-based company whose tour helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing three people on board and injuring four others, says it cooperating fully with investigators.

Papillon Group CEO Brenda Halvorson said in a statement Sunday that the company is extending its heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in the accident.

Six passengers and a pilot were on board the Papillion Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper when it crashed around 5:20 p.m. Saturday on the Hualapai Nation near Quartermaster Canyon.

She also says Papillon's top priority is the care and needs of its passengers and staff.

Halvorson says the company is cooperating fully with National Transportation Safety Board investigators and local authorities.

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1 p.m.

A witness to the aftermath of a deadly tour helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon says at least two of the people on board were women who were badly burned and bleeding.

Las Vegas photographer Teddy Fujimoto was shooting wedding photos at the time of Saturday's crash when he saw people running to the edge of a gulch. He says he followed and saw the black smoke from the helicopter wreckage.

Fujimoto says he then saw two women: One was covered in blood and bleeding from her neck. The other was burned all over.

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

Four survivors were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital on Sunday. Authorities say three other people died at the scene.

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8:30 a.m.

Authorities say four people injured in the crash of a tour helicopter have been airlifted to a Nevada hospital and crews now are recovering the bodies of the other three people aboard who died.

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Six passengers and a pilot were on board the Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper when it crashed around 5:20 p.m. Saturday on the Hualapai Nation near Quartermaster Canyon.

Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley says the survivors all were taken to a Las Vegas hospital as of 2 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities say the four were level 1 trauma patients.

The identities and nationalities of the seven aboard weren't immediately released.

Bradley says National Transportation Safety Board officials were expected at the crash scene by Sunday afternoon to begin investigating the cause of the crash.

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8:30 p.m.

Authorities say a tour helicopter has crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing three people.

Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley said six passengers and a pilot were on board the Papillon helicopter when it crashed around 5:20 p.m. The other four were injured, and were still being treated at the scene.

An after-hours phone call to aerial tour company Papillon was not immediately returned Saturday. The company's website says it flies roughly 600,000 passengers a year on Grand Canyon and other tours.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the Eurocopter EC130 crashed in unknown circumstances and sustained heavy damage.