Helicopter Crashes News — 01 April 2017

‘Six children have lost their parents,’ a family spokesperson said

Five members of the same family died in the helicopter crash in the Snowdonia national park on Wednesday, North Wales Police have confirmed.

The helicopter was owned by Milton Keynes business man Kevin Burke, who was on board with his wife Ruth when it crashed.

The three other victims are believed to be members of the Burke family – but have not yet been identified.

A family spokesperson told the Milton Keynes Citizen that “six children have lost their parents”.

They said: “At this stage the family wants to be left alone to be able to deal with their grief over this terrible loss and concentrate upon looking after the children.”

The family are believed to have been travelling to Dublin for a christening, the BBC reports.

Their plane crashed in Snowdonia, on the flight path from their home in Milton Keynes to Dublin.

North Wales Police told a press conference that wreckage had been discovered in a remote area with “hazardous” terrain.

They suggested the rugged terrain had hampered recovery efforts – meaning some bodies may be left on the hillsides overnight.

Supt Gareth Evans said: “Owing to the nature and remoteness of the terrain, the poor weather conditions and the absolute need carry out this delicate task with sensitivity and dignity this may take some time.

“Their recovery is not just important to their families, but also the investigation as it may help identify any contributory factors.

“Formal identification is yet to take place and this may take some time.”

Neighbour Elizabeth Thornley, 24, told Press Association said the couple had not lived at their home long and had been “doing up the house for about a year and a half”.

On what is thought to be her Facebook profile Mrs Burke states she is originally from Dublin.

One Hulcote resident, who did not give his name, said Mr Burke was originally from Manchester, a pilot himself, and had a 14-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter.

Another neighbour, Richard Mann, said he and Mr Burke had both previously been Hulcote and Salford parish councillors.

He said: “Kevin, I think, is a very astute businessman, outgoing, hail fellow well met, always seemed very cheery.”

A massive air and land search was launched on Wednesday afternoon – after the aircraft vanished on route from Milton Keynes to Dublin.

The registered owner of a Twin Squirrel helicopter was the Staske Construction company – owned by Kevin and Ruth Burke.

The helicopter disappeared from radar while over Caernarfon Bay.

Mr Burke is a successful businessman with several construction companies.

Supt Gareth Evans, of North Wales Police, said on Thursday the crash site was in the Rhinog mountains between Harlech and Trawsfynydd, and the bodies of all five people on board had been found.

A joint investigation led by the AAIB Air Accident Investigation Branch is underway.

The coroner for north west Wales Mr Dewi Pritchard-Jones has been informed and opened an investigation.

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