Three people were killed and four were injured when the helicopter they were flying in crashed in the Grand Canyon, officials said.
The Papillon Airways EC130, which was carrying a pilot and six passengers, crashed under unknown circumstances near Quartermaster Canyon on the Hualapai Nation about 5:20 p.m. Saturday.
Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley said the helicopter, which was likely used for a tour, was traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada when it crashed about 60 miles west of Palm Springs, Ariz.
First responders had difficulty reaching the crash site and were assisted by military aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas to evacuate the injured, authorities said.
“High winds, the darkness and the extreme rugged terrain where the crash site is located” hampered rescue efforts, Bradley said.
The names of the victims and the conditions of the survivors were not immediately released.
Photos of the crash scene showed dark smoke and high flames rising from the wrecked aircraft.
Las Vegas-based photographer Teddy Fujimoto was photographing a wedding about 500 feet above where the crash occurred.
“Everyone kind of ran over to see what happened,” he said.
Fujimoto said he could hear screams and see two women make their way out of the helicopter after the crash.
“It was horrible,” he said.
Papillon Grand Cayon Helicopters has held the title of the world’s oldest and largest sightseeing company since 1965, according to its website. The carrier flies about 600,000 passengers a year on Grand Canyon and other tours, its website notes.
InsideEdition.com has reached out to Papillon Airways for comment.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.