Grand Canyon helicopter crash leaves 3 people dead, others injured

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Papillon Airways describes itself on its website as "the world's largest aerial sightseeing company" and adds that it provides "the only way to tour the Grand Canyon".

AT least three people were killed and four others injured yesterday when a helicopter carrying tourists in Arizona went down in the Grand Canyon, United States authorities said. KLAS reports "rugged, windy conditions have made it impossible to get four trauma victims out" per the Hualapai Police Chief.

The crash happened just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 60 miles northwest of Peach Springs.

"We are in the recovery and investigation mode now", Bradley told The Associated Press.

Strong winds, darkness and hard terrain hindered the rescue of those injured, with the casualties taken to hospital by helicopter after 9 p.m. local time, CNN reported.

One of two helicopters sent by the Arizona Department of Public Safety was grounded, Bradley said.

The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The National Park Service and Hualapai Nation authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Aug. 10, 2001, a Eurocopter AS350 operated by Papillon, on an air tour out of Las Vegas, crashed and burned in the Grand Wash Cliffs area, near Meadview. He did not name which company the helicopter was part of.

The sights from the helicopter inspired Halvorson to start the touring business.

Bradley said rescue efforts were still ongoing late Saturday and three of the four injured have yet to be flown out. "We had to learn how to market Las Vegas", he said.

Mike Shoro at or.

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