3 killed in helicopter crash in USA tourist site Grand Canyon

3 killed in helicopter crash in USA tourist site Grand Canyon

The three other passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash on Saturday. The four survivors were airlifted to a Nevada hospital while crews were recovering the three bodies, authorities said.

Hualapai Police chief Francis Bradley said: "It's a very tragic incident".

Records from the National Transportation Safety Board show that Papillon had a fatal helicopter crash on August 10, 2001, that took the lives of the pilot and five passengers.

The agency won't say with any certainty what caused the crash until its investigative report is released in a year and a half to two years.

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The aircraft was in the Grand Canyon West area when it came down at about 5.20 p.m. local time.

The circumstances surrounding the crash - on the West Rim of the Canyon - are now unknown.

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, according to Reuters.

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. "And we have three confirmed fatalities", Bradley said.

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It safely landed at Quartermaster Canyon, the same location where Saturday's crash occurred, and headed back to Las Vegas at 2:20 p.m. when it crashed. He said one of them "was pretty much burned all over".

The helicopter was owned by Papillon Airways, a sightseeing company that specializes in helicopter tours of the canyon.

Papillon has not yet issued a public statement.

The company also states "safety is our top priority", and it is certified by the Tour Operators Program of Safety.

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The National Weather Service estimates wind conditions were about 16 kilometres per hour with gusts of 32 kilometres per hour when the helicopter crashed. The pilot and five passengers - who were all from NY - died.