3 die in Grand Canyon helicopter crash, 4 others injured

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A TOUR helicopter has crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing three people.

Bradley said first responders are at the scene with the four injured people, but strong winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour and rugged terrain were making it hard for crews to reach them.

A helicopter crashed near the Grand Canyon on Saturday afternoon.

Images of the crash site online showed flames and black smoke shooting from a ravine.

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

Crews will work Sunday to retrieve the bodies of those who died in the crash, Bradley said, but weather conditions were hampering efforts.

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Mr Fujimoto said he was left numbed by what he had seen.

'Our pilot and other pilots all started running, ' he said. He said one of them "was pretty much burned all over".

"It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident", Papillon Group CEO Brenda Halvorson said. The pilot and five passengers were killed.

The helicopter, which was carrying six passengers and one pilot, was operated by Papillion Airways, a tourism-based operation that bills itself as the "the world's largest aerial sightseeing company" with over 600,000 claimed annual passengers. It also notes that it "abides by flight safety rules and regulations that substantially exceed the regulations required by the Federal Aviation Administration".

KPHO reported the FAA and the NTSB were on the scene.

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