A BRITISH gap year student has told how he helped survivors of the Grand Canyon helicopter crash for seven hours — and was lucky not to have been on board.
Conrad Fish had landed at the US landmark in a separate helicopter when the aircraft belonging to tour operator Papillon went down on Saturday, killing three British tourists.
The 19-year-old said he was taking photos when he heard a ‘very loud bang’ . He and a friend quickly helped gather up fire extinguishers, water, stretchers and ‘anything we could find that we thought might have helped’.
He was one of the first to reach the remote crash site and saw the injured survivors. ‘They were all in a very bad way — they had open wounds all over their bodies, and their clothes were completely torn off,’ he said.
‘Adrenaline kicked in and all I did was help carry equipment down and help the fire brigade down. The real heroes were the doctors that kept the survivors alive.’ The modest teenager, from South Cadbury, Somerset, stayed at the scene for seven hours helping emergency services bring supplies. ‘I’m glad that I could help in some way, but I wouldn’t say I’m a hero,’ he said.
The three tourists killed were Britons Becky Dobson, 27, Stuart Hill, 30, and his brother Jason Hill, 32. It is understood they were in Las Vegas to celebrate Stuart’s birthday. Their friends Ellie Milward, 29, and Jonathan Udall, 32, who are newlyweds, and Jennifer Barham, 39, were injured along with pilot Scott Booth, 42.
Conrad said if circumstances had been different, he could have been riding in the crashed Eurocopter EC130.
‘We were collected from a hotel near to where we were staying, and I was sat next to some of the victims on the bus,’ he said. ‘However, we had very little conversation with them and I didn’t even catch their names.’
An investigation into the crash and Papillon has been launched.