3 dead in Calif. copter crash

LOS ANGELES – Three people were killed Sunday in a pre-dawn helicopter crash in a rural area of northern Los Angeles County while filming for a new reality TV show for the Discovery Channel.

The copter crashed at about 3:40 a.m. at the popular filming location of Polsa Rosa Ranch in the city of Acton, Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher Robert Diaz said.

All three people aboard died, Diaz said. Their names weren’t immediately released.

“A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred,” Discovery said in a statement. “We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families.”

The show’s production company, Eyeworks USA, best known for creating NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” also issued a statement expressing sympathies to the victim’s families and saying they were cooperating with authorities.

The company had been approved to use a helicopter for a reality TV show shooting at the ranch from Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning, said Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmLA, which processes filming permits for location shootings in the Los Angeles region.