The Latest: Investigators hope to speak to 4 crash survivors

 
 
Updated 2/12/2018 6:56 PM
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  • In this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, photo, a survivor, lower right, walks away from the scene of a deadly tour helicopter crash along the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. (Teddy Fujimoto via AP)

    In this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, photo, a survivor, lower right, walks away from the scene of a deadly tour helicopter crash along the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. (Teddy Fujimoto via AP) Associated Press

  • In this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, photo, emergency personnel arrive at the scene of a deadly tour helicopter crash along the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. (Teddy Fujimoto via AP)

    In this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, photo, emergency personnel arrive at the scene of a deadly tour helicopter crash along the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. (Teddy Fujimoto via AP) Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Latest on a helicopter crash at the west rim of the Grand Canyon (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Investigators hope to speak to the four survivors of a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon as they begin to recover from critical injuries.

Three British tourists died when a sightseeing helicopter they were on crashed onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon on Saturday evening.

Three other British tourists and the pilot survived and were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital.

Authorities said Monday that 42-year-old pilot Scott Booth suffered a limb injury.

The other survivors from the United Kingdom are 29-year-old Ellie Milward, 32-year-old Jonathan Udall and 39-year-old Jennifer Barham.

Details of their injuries weren't immediately available.

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5:15 p.m.

A helicopter crash that killed three Britons happened on tribal land where air tours are not as highly regulated as those inside Grand Canyon National Park.

Air tour operators at the national park have restricted routes, curfews and an annual limit on the number of flights. That's not the case on the Hualapai (WAHL'-uh-peye) reservation.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted the Hualapai Tribe an exemption from those regulations 18 years ago after finding they would harm the tribe's economy. Pilots there can fly between the canyon walls and land at the bottom near the Colorado River on the reservation.

Most of the flights originate from Las Vegas, and air tour operators aggressively market them.

The National Transportation Safety board says it can't say with any certainty yet what caused Saturday's crash.

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2:30 p.m.

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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