Three Hurt When Chopper Crashes in Idaho Field

June 30--PAUL -- A helicopter crashed Sunday northwest of Paul sending its three occupants to the hospital, officials say.

The aircraft, operated by Reeder Flying Service, of Twin Falls, was headed northeast when it came down in a green, irrigated hay field about 300 yards north of Idaho Highway 24 near mile post 40, said Lincoln County Sheriff Kevin Ellis. The call came in about 5:30 p.m., he said.

Two male occupants were transported to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Ellis said. A third man was transported by ground to St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls.

Ellis said all three men were conscious and talking when medics arrived.

Sunday was a windy day, with gusts coming out of the west.

The blue and white helicopter, which appeared to have come down on its landing gear, was crushed and the rotors torn off.

"Very lucky we had survivors," Chief Randy Sutton, with West End Fire Protection District, said at the scene.

Early reports erroneously indicated the aircraft was operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM engine operators saw the downed helicopter and assisted, said Kelsey Dehoney, BLM spokeswoman. She said it was not a BLM aircraft and was not working a fire.

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