Hoover Dam Helicopter Crash

December 8, 2011 by staff 

Hoover Dam Helicopter Crash, Federal crash investigators and a local recovery team expect to retrieve five bodies Thursday from a remote canyon near Lake Mead where a tour helicopter crashed during a sightseeing flight over the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that a 12-member team was sent to Las Vegas to investigate following the crash just before 5 p.m. Wednesday of the chopper operated by Sundance Helicopters in Las Vegas.

The pilot and four tourists were killed, though authorities have not yet released information about the identities of the victims.

The initial report was that the copter crashed into a mountainside, but TV news video showed it went down in a canyon.

Witnesses told authorities they heard the crash and saw smoke about four miles west of the edge of the Colorado River reservoir some 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, said National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz.

He said a Las Vegas police search and rescue team reached the scene by helicopter and confirmed that all five people on board were dead.

The remote crash site in the River Mountains surrounding Lake Mead, about 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, is not accessible by road, which slowed down the initial rescue and later prompted officials to delay any recovery and investigation until early Thursday morning.

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