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Rediff.com  » News » Delhi couple among 5 dead in Vegas chopper crash

Delhi couple among 5 dead in Vegas chopper crash

December 11, 2011 18:18 IST
An Indian couple was among five people killed when a tour helicopter crashed into a mountainside near Las Vegas in the United States.

The helicopter was touring the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam at sunset on Wednesday when it crashed near the bottom of a canyon about 150 feet deep in the River Mountains bordering Lake Mead. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, Las Vegas Review Journal said adding that no recording devices were found on board the chopper.

The copter had engine work the day before the crash landing, it said quoting local officials. The newspaper said, "The coroner's office is working with family members in New Delhi, India, to identify two sightseers."

The victims died of multiple blunt force trauma and suffered thermal injuries in the fiery crash, according to the coroner's report.

Authorities removed bodies from the crash site on Thursday but didn't immediately release the names of the five people who died in the fiery crash of the AS350BS helicopter operated by Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas.

Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy said he cannot release the names of any victims because bodies have not been fully identified, a process that will likely involve the use of DNA, fingerprint and dental records.

Three other victims, the pilot, 31-year-old Landon Nield of Las Vegas, and 49-year-old passengers Delwin and Tamara Chapman, a Kansas couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, had been identified by relatives.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the helicopter was an AS-350, a model that can carry up to six passengers and is often used for such tours.

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