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Helicopter crash in Denali National Park

(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 21, 2020 at 7:59 PM AKST
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A helicopter with three people on board crashed Thursday afternoon on Ruth Glacier in Denali National Park, officials said in a press release Friday afternoon.

The National park Service says at approximately 3:20 p.m on Thursday, personnel from Denali National Park and Preserve were notified of a helicopter crash on Ruth Glacier via an emergency transponder.

Officials said at approximately 3:00 p.m., a Robinson R44 helicopter operated by Talkeetna Air Taxi, Inc. took off from the Sheldon Chalet with two guests and one pilot. Shortly after takeoff, the helicopter crashed near the chalet. The emergency transmission was activated by chalet staff who witnessed the incident.

The NPS said the request for assistance was rescinded at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the crash, according to Alaska chief investigator Clint Johnson, who told Channel 2 News that one of the passengers on board the helicopter received minor injuries. Johnson said the helicopter was en route back to Talkeetna when the crash occurred.

The National Park Service said there was no significant impact to natural resources reported. Officials said the damaged aircraft will be removed next week, weather permitting. Park staff intend to visit the site in the near future to determine what efforts, if any, will be needed to remediate the area.

The Sheldon Chalet sits on a private parcel within Denali National Park and Preserve, and is operated by Mountain House, LLC, according to park officials.

Officials with Talkeetna Air Taxi could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

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