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Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Three dead after tour helicopter crashes in Grand Canyon

Three dead after tour helicopter crashes in Grand Canyon

Jason Ogulnik/Las Vegas Review-JournalA tour group returns to Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters' new Hoover Dam helipad located adjacent to Hoover Dam Lodge hotel-casino in Boulder City, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. There were a total of seven people on board, including the pilot.

Teddy Fujimoto told CNN affiliate KSNV he was in the area taking photographs when he witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

"The ladies were screaming".

"The ladies were screaming.It was just frightful", he said.

The aircraft was in the Grand Canyon West area when it came down at about 5.20 p.m. local time.

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

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

The company's website says it flies roughly 600,000 passengers a year around the Grand Canyon and on other tours.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the organization was assisting the National Park Service with the crash.

NTSB records show a helicopter operated by Papillon was involved in a deadly crash on August 10, 2001 near Meadview, Arizona.

The helicopter had been carrying six passengers and one pilot.

Winds in the Las Vegas valley picked up in the afternoon with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, but the cause of the crash is not immediately known.

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