Helicopter crashes in San Juan County, no injuries
*It was previously reported that the helicopter that crashed was a Department of Wildlife Resources helicopter, it has since been corrected as a flight contracted by DWR through a company that does these wildlife captures.
SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah — Three people aboard a helicopter survived without injuries when their helicopter crashed late Thursday morning.
At approximately 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, a wildlife capture crew (Helicopter Wildlife Services) contracted by the DWR crashed on Mount Tukuhnikivatz.
According to DWR, the helicopter crashed in the La Sal mountains while GPS-collaring mountain goats for an ongoing study.
A witness described a metallic blue helicopter go down in steep terrain on the mountain peak but did not see any smoke or fire.
DWR confirmed that no employees were on the helicopter at the time of the crash.
Due to the nature of the steep terrain, the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was requested to help with the mission as search and rescue personnel were unable to reach the scene of the crash.
However, rescuers were able to make contact with the helicopter crew. The three people onboard communicated that no one was injured in the crash. The rescue by DPS crew is on going at this time.
DWR stated, “Capturing wildlife in helicopters is a dangerous occupation. Helicopter Wildlife Services is operated by highly trained and responsible professionals who understand the risks involved with their job. Unfortunately, accidents occasionally happen despite the best efforts to avoid them. ”
The helicopter was significantly damaged in the crash and is estimated to be a total loss.
This rescue is still in progress.
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