December 8, 2011
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Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the helicopter crash near Lake Mead in which five people died. Below are his remarks as prepared:
M. President, I am saddened to learn that five people were killed late yesterday in a terrible helicopter crash outside Las Vegas.
My sympathies are with the families of those who died, including pilot Landon Neil and four passengers. My thoughts are with them as recovery efforts continue this morning, and as they lay lost loved ones to rest.
Reports indicate the aircraft was on a tour of the Hoover Dam. It crashed into remote and rocky terrain in the River Mountains between Lake Mead and Henderson, about 30 miles from Las Vegas.
I am grateful for the efforts of National Park Service rangers, Metro Police’s Search and Rescue and the Clark County and Henderson fire departments, who responded to the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause. I will continue to monitor that investigation, as well as recovery efforts, as they progress.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists enjoy these helicopter tours of our great state each year. I’m troubled that innocent people have lost their lives in such a rare tragedy.
Nevada puts great stock in protecting the safety of its tourists – whether they are flying to the Grand Canyon or walking down the Las Vegas Strip. I hope the inquiry into the causes of this crash will help us better protect helicopter passengers and pilots in the future.
And again, my heart goes out to the families of the dead as they mourn this awful tragedy.