3 die in Grand Canyon helicopter crash, 4 others injured

OCT. 5 2013 FILE

Three people were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday while touring the Grand Canyon

Three people are dead after a helicopter crashed near the Grand Canyon Saturday afternoon, according to Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley.

Bradley said Saturday night that the four injured people could not immediately be transported by air due to 50 miles per hour wind gusts, but state department of public safety helicopters were at the scene.

Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration Officer of Communications said Eurocopter EC130 crashed under unknown circumstances in the Grand Canyon.

He did not have details of the crash.

He said National Transportation Safety Board officials were expected at the crash scene to begin investigating the cause.

State department of public safety helicopters were at the scene, near Quartermaster Canyon in the Grand Canyon West area.

Mr Fujimoto said he was left numbed by what he had seen.

"First responders had to be flown in and walk to the crash site", he said. "This is not just the fact that a helicopter crashed; this is a human tragedy". Immediately saw two girls. I just felt awful, you could hear the screaming loudly, even from all that way away.

KNXV-TV reported that the helicopter passengers were touring the massive park.

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.

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

An NTSB report issued in 2004 blamed the pilot's decision to descend too fast and too close to the scenic Grand Wash Cliffs.

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