Three Britons killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash named

Burning wreckage at the crash site in Arizona.   Teddy Fujimoto via AP

Three people have been killed and four others are "level one trauma patients" after a helicopter crashed near the Grand Canyon Saturday afternoon, according to Hualapai Nation (Arizona) Police Chief Francis Bradley.

"They were really happy together, they were always going out and doing things, just enjoyed being with each other".

They are all said to be in critical condition, with high winds meaning the rescue chopper had to wait hours to leave the canyon.

The injured passengers were identified as Britons Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathan Udall, 32, and Jennifer Barham, 39.

Francis Bradley, the chief of the local Hualapai Police, said rescue efforts were hampered by "severe weather conditions", including "gusts up to 50 miles per hour".

Images have emerged showing flames and thick smoke rising from the boulder-strewn crash site. One of the survivors. looked all bloody.

A witness to the aftermath of a deadly tour helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon says at least two of the people on board were women who were badly burned and bleeding. Rescuers were able to get to the survivors after getting assistance from military aircraft from the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. He noted that the weather conditions were not normal, but there were no flight restrictions imposed.

Ms Dobson was an animal lover who worked as a receptionist at Vets4Pets in Worthing, West Sussex.

She added that her dream was to be a veterinary nurse.

Jason Hill was a corporate solicitor in Milton Keynes for firm Shoosmiths.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage as a result of the crash.

"It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident".

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 hard for first-responders to reach the helicopter's wreckage.

This is the first major crash for Papillon since 2001 when six people were killed in an accident. The cause is now unknown, but a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the helicopter had sustained "heavy damage".

She also says Papillon's top priority is the care and needs of its passengers and staff.

An investigation will take place.

"We are providing support to the families of six British visitors involved in a helicopter accident at the Grand Canyon on February 10, and we are in close contact with the U.S. emergency services", a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.



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