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Three feared dead in chopper crash near Alaska peak

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Three people were feared dead after a helicopter crashed while rescuing a stranded snowmobiler near the highest peak in North America, officials said Monday.

The rescue helicopter scrambled late Saturday to search for the snowmobiler on Larson Lake, near Talkeetna in Alaska, a center for climbers trying to scale nearby Mount McKinley.

The chopper, with a pilot and a state trooper on board, picked up the stranded person and was flying him to a medical center in Talkeetna when it disappeared from radar.

All three occupants -- including the rescued snowmobiler -- were feared dead. "Contact .. was lost and a search and rescue was initiated," said Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

On Sunday morning a rescue aircraft "located the crash site and searched for survivors, but none were found," she added. Talkeetna is about 100 miles (160 km) north of Anchorage.

The summit of Mount McKinley, which lies in the Denali National Park, is at an altitude of 20,320 feet (6,194 meters)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130401/three-feared-dead-chopper-crash-near-alaska-peak