3 killed in crash when helicopter hits power lines near Silt in western Colorado

Chopper crew was inspecting power lines

SILT, Colo. - Authorities say a helicopter conducting a power line inspection tour near Silt in western Colorado hit power lines and crashed on Monday, killing all three people on board.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office said the crash occurred at around 11:20 a.m. near Dry Hallow Road -- about 2 miles off Interstate 70.

The helicopter crashed when it struck power lines while performing survey work for a power company, said  Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman  for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Walt Stowe said witnesses saw the crash and drove to the scene to help, but all three occupants were dead. Stowe said the crash debris was in a tight area, no more than 50-feet wide.

"The terrain is kind of hilly, ravines and draws" covered by sage brush, Stowe said.

A deputy is guarding the crash site until National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials arrive.

Kenitzer says a preliminary report will likely be completed by the NTSB in the next week or two.

7NEWS has learned that the chopper was registered to DBS Helicopters in Rifle, Colo.

According to the company's website, it operates the Bell LongRanger L3 helicopter.

The names of the victims have not been released.

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