Three Australian journalists working for the national broadcaster died Thursday evening when their helicopter crashed on the way to Lake Eyre in South Australia.

They were filming a documentary about the flourishing of the usually arid Lake Eyre region after the summer floods.

The cause of the crash, around 7:30 p.m., is unknown.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. confirmed that veteran reporter Paul Lockyer, cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst are feared dead in the helicopter crash, The Telegraph reported.

Lockyer's award-winning career as a journalist spanned more than 40 years. He covered Olympics and the floods in Queensland.

Ticehurst, a well-known media pilot, worked for the ABC for more than 25 years.

Veteran cameraman Bean was Brisbane-based and worked for 20 years throughout Australia, the Pacific and Washington.

Investigators heading towards the accident site said that they did not expect to find any survivors. Only charred wreckage could be seen in the footage of the scene.

This has been the longest of nights and we fear it will be the saddest of days, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said as he waited for official confirmation of the deaths.

Paul, Gary and John have each given decades of service to the ABC. They are passionate about their work and finding great stories from all over Australia to bring to the public, Scott added.

South Australian police said a fire appeared to have broken out at the scene of the crash and they confirmed to have found three bodies.