Four people had to be rescued after their helicopter crashed during a tour of the Grand Canyon, killing three.
The crash took place at around 5:30 p.m. on Feb 11, on the Hualapai Nation reserve in The Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Eurocopter EC130 was out for a tour of the geological wonder when it went down under "unknown circumstances." The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are launching a full investigation into the incident.
The helicopter had seven people onboard at the time of the crash, including the pilot and six friends who had spent a year saving their money to make the trip from Europe to America for what they called a 'trip of a lifetime,'” the Daily Mail reports. The group was there to celebrate the 30th birthday of Stuart Hill.
Among the three deaths were Becky Dobson, 27, her boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30, and his older brother Jason Hill, 32. Jason Hill’s girlfriend Jennifer Barham, 39, and newlyweds Ellie Milward, 29, and Jonathan Udall, 32, who were on their honeymoon at the time, and the pilot, 42-year-old Scott Booth, are at a hospital listed in critical condition.
Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley Sr. stated that one of the survivors had suffered severe burns and the pilot had “a severe injury to one of his limbs.”
Those who witnessed the event described seeing one woman running from the wreckage before collapsing to the ground and beginning to scream the name “Jason.”
High-winds and the rugged terrain of the ravine where the helicopter had crashed delayed the response time of first responders.
“First responders had to be flown in and walk to the crash site. Quartermaster Canyon is an extremely remote area. We had to call in specially trained crews - people with night-vision goggles,” Chief Bradley Sr. said.
The four survivors were taken to a Las Vegas Hospital at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, roughly nine hours after the helicopter had crashed. They are all listed as level one trauma patients, meaning that their injuries are critical and life-threatening.