Birmingham Man Among Survivors Of Grand Canyon Crash

12 February 2018, 14:18

Grand canyon birmingham

A man from Birmingham is among the survivors of a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon.

32 year-old Jonathon Udall was airlifted to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada after the aircraft came down and hit jagged rocks on Saturday.

29-year-old Ellie Milward and 39-year-old Jennifer Barham, 39 were also taken to hospital along with 42-year-old pilot Scott Booth.

The father of a young British woman who was killed in the crash has described his daughter as "full of life" and "always happy".

27-year-old Becky Dobson was on a US holiday with boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30, and his brother Jason Hill, 32, when they were killed in the helicopter crash at 5.20pm local time on Saturday.

Dramatic images of the crash site show the wreckage lying at the bottom of a canyon, engulfed in flames.

One picture appears to show a female survivor, wearing jeans and a white top, fleeing the scene as the fire rages behind her.

Local media reports claim it took rescuers more than eight hours to get to the survivors and they were not airlifted from the scene until around 2am on Sunday.

Hualapai Police chief Francis Bradley said: "It's a very tragic incident.

"Yesterday, we were hampered by severe weather conditions, we had gusts up to 50mph.

"The terrain where the crash occurred... is extremely rugged."

The helicopter tour was run by Papillon. The company's website states: "With more than 50 years flying the Grand Canyon and beyond, Papillon is the largest and most experienced helicopter tour operator in the world."

It further says: "At Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, safety is our top priority."

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the Eurocopter EC130 crashed in unknown circumstances and sustained heavy damage.

An investigation will take place.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "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 US emergency services."