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3 feared dead in helicopter crash

ANCHORAGE — An Alaska State Trooper helicopter carrying a trooper, a pilot, and a rescued snowmobiler crashed in the south-central part of the state, apparently killing all aboard, a spokeswoman said Sunday night.

Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said the aircraft went down Saturday night; the wreckage was spotted Sunday, and no survivors have been found. Peters said that though the three are feared dead, there still has been no confirmation of any fatalities.

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Wreckage of the helicopter burned, but Peters said it was not known how the fire started or how long it lasted.

The trooper helicopter was on a mission to pick up a snowmobiler stranded near Larson Lake 7 miles east of Talkeetna in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

The helicopter picked up a trooper and began a search, spotting the snowmobile and landing just before 10 p.m. It took off with the snowmobiler and was supposed to meet medics near Talkeetna but did not arrive.

The National Weather Service said the temperature in Talkeetna Sunday night was 34 with light rain that turned into snow about 11 p.m..

Kalei Rupp, an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter spokeswoman, said fog in Anchorage and mandatory crew rest kept an agency helicopter from launching until 5 a.m.

A guard helicopter spotted the wreckage at 9:20 a.m. Sunday and landed.

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