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3 feared dead after rescue helicopter crashes in Alaska

From Mayra Cuevas, CNN
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The helicopter went down Saturday night, a spokeswoman says
  • The wreckage was found the next day
  • Authorities do not know why it crashed

(CNN) -- An Alaska State Trooper helicopter on a mission to rescue a stranded snowmobiler crashed over the weekend -- and authorities fear that all three occupants on board are dead.

The helicopter was carrying the pilot, a trooper and the snowmobiler when it went down Saturday night, said Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the state troopers.

Authorities spotted the wreckage Sunday, but could not find any survivors.

Peters said her office is not yet ready to definitively declare the three on board dead.

The helicopter had been sent Saturday evening to help look for someone stranded in a snowmobile near Larson Lake near the town of Talkeetna.

Talkeetna is about two hours north of Anchorage

The helicopter pilot picked up a state trooper, went to the search area and spotted the snowmobiler.

With the rescued person on board, the helicopter was on its way to meet with medics, but did not arrive, the state Department of Public Safety said.

The next morning, another aircraft spotted the helicopter's wreckage -- but did not find survivors.

Peters said the helicopter had caught fire, but officials do not know why.

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