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4 Britons, 2 Australians die in New Zealand glacier helicopter crash

4 Britons, 2 Australians die in New Zealand glacier helicopter crash

The Fox Glacier on New Zealand’s South Island.

Picture: David Wilcock/Related Press

2015-Eleven-22 03:Fifty Seven:54 UTC

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Four tourists from Britain and two from Australia are among seven individuals who died when a helicopter crashed on a scenic New Zealand glacier, police mentioned.

Rescuers on Sunday had been working to recuperate the our bodies from Fox Glacier, where the wreckage remained wedged in a crevasse. Police mentioned in a observation the rugged terrain was once making the operation “extremely challenging.”

Police named the victims as Britons Nigel Charlton, Sixty Six, and Cynthia Charlton, 70, of Hampshire, and Katharine Walker, 51, and Andrew Virco, 50, of Cambridge. Australians Leang Sovannmony, 27, and Josephine Gibson, 29, of South Australia, additionally died. the new Zealand pilot used to be identified as Mitchell Gameren, 28, of Queenstown.

Fox Glacier is a well-liked vacationer destination on New Zealand’s South Island.

Gray District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn stated the weather was once “no longer top for helicopter flying,” with intermittent rain showers and low clouds.

Kokshoorn stated that the area had been experiencing a bumper start to the Southern Hemisphere vacationer season, but that unhealthy climate had been placing power on some vacationer operators.

“It Can Be a tremendous line,” he stated. “Operators are doing their absolute best to get folks up there, however obviously something went badly fallacious.”

He mentioned that the glaciers in recent years had been backing out and that the only approach to view them up close is By Using helicopter. He stated operators provide completely different programs, and a common trip typically involves a ten-minute flight to the top of the glacier, the place vacationers can Walk around for approximately a 1/2-hour earlier than returning.

Peter Northcote, a spokesman for the Transport Accident Investigation Fee, mentioned the helicopter was ferrying vacationers at the time of the crash. He said a staff of investigators was planning to survey the scene over the coming days.

9 folks died in 2010 when a skydiving aircraft crashed close to the identical glacier.

New Zealand relies on tourism as an incredible source of revenue, but has been criticized By Using some people as having security standards which can be too lax. The Fogeys of 4 vacationers who died in the 2010 crash near Fox Glacier later wrote to New Zealand Top Minister John Key to urge him to improve security measures in the industry.

Kokshoorn, the mayor, stated he hopes authorities complete a thorough investigation into the most recent crash to make certain that the business is protected and that tourists can have confidence that operators will make the correct call in bad stipulations.

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