Five people killed in Snowdonia helicopter crash

Posted by Warren Fyfe on March 30, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Five people have been killed in a helicopter crash in north Wales.

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

Supt Gareth Evans of North Wales Police said on Thursday the crash site had been located and the bodies of all five people on board had been found.

A mountain rescue team found the wreckage in the Rhinog mountains between Trawsfynydd and Harlech.

Media captionSupt Gareth Evans said it was an “agonising time” for the families of of those killed

The privately-owned red Twin Squirrel helicopter vanished from radar contact while over Caernarfon Bay.

Police said they were not aware of any plan for the helicopter to stop in Caernarfon as part of its route.

Formal identification of the bodies has not yet taken place and the coroner for north west Wales, Dewi Pritchard-Jones, has opened an investigation.

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High Level/REX/Shutterstock

Image caption

A Eurocopter AS55 Ecureuil 2 (Twin Squirrel) – the same model as the one that crashed

Police have not revealed the exact location of the crash as the bodies have not been recovered from the “remote and hazardous” terrain.

Family of those killed have been informed and an investigation into the crash is being led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

Initial searches followed the intended flight plan of the aircraft over the Irish Sea, but the Coastguard said on Thursday that inquiries led them to switch their efforts to Snowdonia National Park.

Prior to the crash site being discovered, UK Coastguard duty commander Mark Rodaway said: “These aircraft normally carry beacons that we can track by satellite – they’re activated by salt water – we’ve not seen any of that and also mobile phone data has aided our inquiries in shifting inland.”

Weather hampered the search for the aircraft – helicopter searches were called off due to low lying cloud and teams in Snowdonia had to work with visibility down to 10ft (3m) in some places.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said the UK government would offer its full support to the investigation.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said it “stood by to offer consular assistance”.

The Eurocopter AS55 Ecureuil 2 (Twin Squirrel), made by Airbus, has a cruising speed of 140mph (225km/h) and a range of nearly 440 miles (700km).

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-39445384

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