Investigation under way in Lake Mead helicopter crash - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Investigation under way in Lake Mead helicopter crash

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A Sundance helicopter sits at the company's headquarters Thursday morning, a day after a fatal helicopter crash near Lake Mead. (Dave Lawrence/FOX5) A Sundance helicopter sits at the company's headquarters Thursday morning, a day after a fatal helicopter crash near Lake Mead. (Dave Lawrence/FOX5)
Matt DeLucia (FOX5) Matt DeLucia (FOX5)
Matt DeLucia (FOX5) Matt DeLucia (FOX5)
A helicopter very similar to the one that crashed. A helicopter very similar to the one that crashed.
The actual helicopter that crashed. Courtesy of photographer Sergey Rimsha, Airliners.net The actual helicopter that crashed. Courtesy of photographer Sergey Rimsha, Airliners.net
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The recovery operation and investigation is under way Thursday morning after a helicopter carrying five people crashed near Lake Mead.

According to authorities, the helicopter crashed at around 4:45 Wednesday afternoon about a half mile within the boundary of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The National Park Service said four tourists and a pilot were confirmed dead when a Las Vegas Metro police search and rescue crew reached the wreckage.

The site is roughly four miles west of the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Plant.

Their identities will not be revealed until next of kin are notified.

A spokesperson with Sundance Helicopters, the company that owns and operates the downed helicopter, told FOX5 the helicopter was taking a tour of Hoover Dam and heading back.

Link: Statement from Sundance Helicopters

A spokesperson from the FAA, Ian Gregor, tells FOX5 the downed helicopter is believed to be an Aerospatiale AS350. It's still unknown what brought the aircraft down.

Link: Picture of the helicopter that crashed

Police say a number of people reported seeing smoke in an area south of Callville Marina. Pilots reported seeing smoke and wreckage in the area. The crash site is in a ravine, making access difficult.

Stay tuned to FOX5 Live in Las Vegas this morning for team coverage on this ongoing story. Follow reporters Stefanie Jay (@StefanieJay) and Dave Lawrence (@daveontv) for the latest updates on Twitter.

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