Grand Canyon disaster: Tourist chopper plunges onto Canyon's jagged rocks killing three Brits

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Associated Press

Four survivors of a deadly tour helicopter crash onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon were being treated at a Nevada hospital today while crews tackled difficult terrain in a remote area to try to recover the bodies of three other people.

Six British tourists and a pilot were on board the Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper when it crashed under unknown circumstances on Saturday evening (local time) on the Hualapai Nation's land near Quartermaster Canyon, by the Grand Canyon's West Rim.

A witness said he saw flames and black smoke spewing from the crash site, heard explosions and saw victims who were bleeding and badly burned.

"It's just horrible," witness Teddy Fujimoto said. "And those victims — she was so badly burned. It's unimaginable, the pain."

Windy conditions, darkness and the rugged terrain made it difficult to reach the helicopter's wreckage, Hualapai Nation police Chief Francis Bradley said. Rescue crews had to fly in, walk to the crash site and use night vision goggles to find their way around, he said.

All six passengers were from the United Kingdom, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed. Three passengers and the pilot were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital early Sunday (local time), Bradley said, according to the Arizona Republic .

Authorities didn't immediately release the names or ages of the victims.

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