A Yukon government geologist was killed Saturday when he was struck by the rotor blades of a helicopter.

Geoff Bradshaw, 32,died in the Wernecke Mountains north of Mayo, where he was doing mineral assessment field work.

An official with the department said Bradshaw and a co-worker were being picked up bythe helicopter when he was hit by its rotor blades. Heapparently died instantly.

"He had about 10 years' experience working in the field with helicopters, so from that point of view it's really surprising that he would be involved in such an accident," said Rod Hill, who manages the Yukon Geological Survey.

"He was also a very likeable guy. I mean, everybody liked him. He was really nice, he was professional, he was hardworking. It's hard to say enough good things about Geoff. He'll be really missed."

Hill said the death is a shock for the tight-knit group in the Whitehorse survey office, and support is being offered to employees.

"Many of our staff members knew Geoff and his girlfriend very well and they've been consoling her," he said.

"Geoff's family in Sechelt,. B.C., have been notified and the co-worker who was with him has obviously suffered a traumatic experience, so we're trying to comfort her and offer her counselling.

"As well, we have a grief counsellor coming in to meet with us this afternoon so we're hoping that will deal with this situation."

Hill said investigations areunderway by both the coroner's office and the Workers Compensation Board.His branch willco-operate fully. he said.