Canyon Crash Kills Three

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Three people were killed and four badly injured when a sightseeing helicopter went down in the Grand Canyon Saturday. The aircraft was destroyed in the post-crash fire and at least two survivors were seen running from the wreckage before it exploded. The condition of the injured wasn’t immediately available. The helicopter was operated by Papillon Airways, which describes itself as the largest aerial sightseeing company in the world. The aircraft was an Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) EC-130 and was carrying six passengers and the pilot.

An Air Force aircraft helped rescue the four injured in cold, windy conditions. At the time of the crash, a weather station in nearby Meadview, Arizona, reported winds of 25 mph gusting to 40 mph. The crash occurred in a narrow branch of the Grand Canyon called Quartermaster Canyon. It’s about 70 miles east of Las Vegas on Hualapai Indian Reservation. Papillon says it flew 600,000 sightseers last year and operates from bases in Las Vegas and in Grand Canyon National Park. It also operates Twin Otter fixed-wing tour aircraft.

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