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UPDATE: Photo of four Grand Canyon crash victims released

Posted: 12:18 AM, Feb 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-13 03:18:29Z
Photo of 4 Grand Canyon crash victims released
Photo of 4 Grand Canyon crash victims released

UPDATE FEB. 12: The three people who died on a sightseeing tour of the Grand Canyon have been identified as a veterinary receptionist, her boyfriend and his brother.

Family and friends of 27-year-old Becky Dobson, 30-year-old Stuart Hill and 32-year-old Jason Hill say the Britons had gone to Las Vegas to celebrate Stuart Hill's birthday.

Dobson's father told Britain's Press Association news agency that they had been looking forward to the trip for a long time.

The three were killed when their helicopter crashed Saturday onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation outside the boundaries of the national park.

Three other British tourists and the pilot survived and were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration say they have been in contact with the surviving victims but are still investigating the reason for the crash.

The BBC reports that all passengers on the helicopter were from Great Britain. 

No other personal information is available about the passengers and pilot at this time. It is also not known why the helicopter crashed.

They do know that there was no explosion on impact  and that the fire happened after the helicopter hit.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating.

Brenda Halvorson, the CEO of Papillion Group, released the following statement regarding the crash:

It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident. Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff. Family members seeking immediate assistance, please call 1-866-512-9121. We are cooperating fully with NTSB investigators and local authorities.

There is a temporary restriction on tour flights into the Grand Canyon but those flights could start again in a few days.

UPDATE ON FEB. 11: The four survivors of the helicopter crash near the Grand Canyon on Saturday have been rescued .

A military aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base was sent to the crash scene late last night to help with the difficult rescue.

They were eventually able to fly all four of the injured survivors to University Medical Center in Las Vegas. The survivors are currently classified as "Level 1 Trauma" patients.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

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

Chief Bradley said a Papillion Airways aircraft carrying a pilot and six passengers crashed in the Quartermaster Canyon sometime around 5:20 p.m.

He said the helicopter was on a tour. Papillion Airways is based in the Las Vegas area. 

Dispatch received the emergency call regarding the crash at 5:31 p.m. Multiple agencies are assisting in the investigation.

Allen Kenitzer with the FAA Office of Communications confirmed in an email that the helicopter, a Eurocopter EC130, "crashed under unknown circumstances in the Grand Canyon."

He said the helicopter "sustained substantial damage" and, citing local authorities, that 7 people were on board.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating.