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  1. ITV Report

Grand Canyon helicopter crash: Britons Becky Dobson, Jason Hill and Stuart Hill named as victims

The crash happened on Saturday evening. Credit: Teddy Fujimoto

Tributes have been paid to three British people who died in a sightseeing helicopter accident at the Grand Canyon.

Becky Dobson, 27, was on a US holiday with boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30, and his brother Jason Hill, 32, when they were killed in Saturday afternoon's incident, while three further Britons were taken to hospital.

Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathan Udall, 32, and Jennifer Barham, 39, were airlifted to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada, along with pilot Scott Booth, 42, according to Arizona Central.

Becky Dobson was one of three Britons killed in the crash.

The father of Ms Dobson, who was the youngest victim, paid tribute to his daughter saying she was "full of life and looking forward to going to Vegas for her boyfriend's 30th birthday to celebrate".

Peter Dobson added: "She was a lovely girl. Everyone liked her, she liked her travelling - she went to Australia for a year to travel round.

"She was always happy. They just went for a long weekend; a four-night break. They were staying in Vegas, they had been looking forward to it for a long time.

"They [Stuart and Becky] have known each other quite a while, they both live in Worthing," he said.

"They were really happy together, they were always going out and doing things, just enjoyed being with each other. The whole thing is just terrible."

Stuart Hill, 30, was on the helicopter sightseeing when the accident happened.

The group had saved up for a year for the trip to celebrate Stuart Hill's 30th, his father told the Evening Standard.

The Rev David Hill said his sons were "incredibly close" and called his family "Team Hill".

"The two brothers loved each other and were very close, and so our misfortune is their support - because they went together, and I will thank God every day for them," said the Rev Hill.

Jason Hill, 32, was killed in the helicopter crash on Saturday. Credit: Shoosmiths

The chief executive of a law firm that employed Jason Hill, who was a corporate lawyer, have paid tribute to him.

Claire Rowe said: “Jason Hill was well respected and loved by all those who worked with him at the firm.

"He was hardworking, full of energy and enjoyable to work with, and we are greatly saddened by the news of his death and that of his brother Stuart.

Our immediate thoughts are with their family at this very difficult and tragic time.”

Sean Reeves, 31, a solicitor from the New Forest, said he went to college with Stuart Hill: "He was simply a great guy the life and soul of the party."

"He always had a smile ear-to-ear whenever we went out," he added.

The survivors of the crash had to wait more than eight hours to be rescued due to severe weather conditions, according to reports.

The passengers were on a Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter EC-130 when it crashed on Saturday afternoon near Quartermaster Canyon, by the Grand Canyon's West Rim.

The circumstances of the crash are unknown.

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

"We were hampered by severe weather conditions, we had gusts up to 50mph. The terrain where the crash occurred... is extremely rugged."

Rescue crews had to be flown in, walk to the crash site and use night vision goggles to find their way around, he said.

Emergency services arrive at the scene. Credit: Teddy Fujimoto

A witness said he saw flames and black smoke spewing from the crash site, heard explosions and saw victims who were bleeding and badly burned.

"It's just horrible," witness Teddy Fujimoto said.

He told ABC News the tour originated in Boulder City, Nevada, and that a storm was rolling into the area at the time of the crash.

Mr Bradley described the weather conditions as "not normal", but said no flight restrictions were in 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."

In a statement reported by local news, Papillon Group chief executive Brenda Halvorson said: "It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident.

"Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff."

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