LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The sole survivor of a tour helicopter crash near the Grand Canyon was in critical condition Saturday while investigators sought the cause of the accident that killed six others.
The crash Friday killed the pilot and five members of a New York family. The surviving 23-year-old woman, who was burned over 80 percent of her body, was a member of that same family, authorities said.
No victims' names were immediately released.
The AS350 helicopter crashed and burned about 3,700 feet up the 5,600-foot Grand Wash Cliffs, a desolate roadless area but a popular place for tourist helicopters because of its signature red cliffs.
The site, just outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, is about 4 miles east of Meadview, Ariz., and 70 miles east of Las Vegas.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the cause of the crash had not been determined. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to join FAA officials on Saturday.
The flight was operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters of Las Vegas, National Park Service spokesman Bert Byers said.
Bob Gale, a company employee, expressed sympathy for the victims' relatives.
"We lost a real good pilot and a real good friend," Gale said. "It's a crushing ordeal."
Friday's crash was the deadliest canyon tour accident since Feb. 13, 1995, when a plane crashed while trying to return to Grand Canyon Airport, killing eight people.
NTSB records show Papillon has been involved in four helicopter crashes along the Colorado River during the last three years.
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