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Tue, Feb 13, 2018

Tourist Helicopter Down In The Grand Canyon

Accident Occurred Saturday, Three Fatally Injured

Three people were fatally injured Saturday when the tourist helicopter they were aboard went down in the Grand Canyon. Four people survived the accident, and were being treated at a Nevada Hospital.

MSN reports that all of the passengers on board the aircraft were British Tourists. The pilot was among the survivors of the accident.

The helicopter was being operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. The company has said it will cooperate fully with the FAA and NTSB in their investigations. "It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident," Papillon Group CEO Brenda Halvorson said in a statement. "Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff."

Papillon flies some 600,000 passengers each year on sightseeing flights around the Grand Canyon and other tours, according to the company website.

At the time of the accident Saturday, the National Weather Service said that winds were about eight knots with gusts to about 17 knots. Hualapai Nation police Chief Francis Bradley said that rugged terrain, windy conditions and darkness made it difficult to get to the accident scene. Rescuers had to fly in, walk to the accident site and use night vision goggles to see on the dark canyon floor. The survivors were airlifted out of the canyon at about 0200 local time Sunday, Bradley said.

The names of those fatally injured were not immediately released, according to the report.

(Image from video captured by photographer Teddy Fujimoto and posted on YouTube)

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