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Investigators hike to rugged tour crash site in Grand Canyon - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Investigators hike to rugged tour crash site in Grand Canyon

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PHOENIX - National Transportation Safety Board investigators are hiking rugged, rocky terrain to reach the site of a Grand Canyon sightseeing helicopter crash that killed three British tourists.
    
Special investigator Stephen Stein said Monday that there's evidence the wreckage was on fire after the crash at the base of the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River.
    
Stein says investigators are in contact with the four survivors of the crash and are hoping to get statements from them over the next few days as they recover from critical injuries.
    
Stein declined to speculate on what may have caused the crash, though he said a preliminary report will be ready in the coming days.
    
He says flights into the Grand Canyon are expected to restart in the next day or two after approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
    
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7:15 a.m.
    
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 (WAHL'-uh-peye) 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 are investigating.
    
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12:05 a.m.
    
Authorities say three British tourists died when a sightseeing helicopter they were on crashed onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon. Three other British tourists and the pilot survived and were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital.
    
A witness said he saw flames and black smoke spewing from the crash site, heard explosions and saw victims bleeding and badly burned.
    
The Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper crashed under unknown circumstances Saturday evening on the Hualapai Nation's land by the Grand Canyon's West Rim
    
Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley says navigating the rugged terrain in the dark made it difficult for first-responders to reach the helicopter's wreckage.
    
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.
    
The Nevada-based company says it cooperating fully with investigators.
 

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