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Family pays tribute to victims of Snowdonia helicopter crash

Clockwise from left: Kevin Burke, Ruth Burke, Donald Burke, Sharon Burke, Barry Burke Credit: Family photos / North Wales Police

Relatives have paid tribute to five members of the same family who died when their helicopter crashed in Snowdonia.

Kevin and Ruth Burke, aged 56 and 49, Donald and Sharon Burke, aged 55 and 48, and Barry Burke, 51, all from the greater Milton Keynes area, were found with the wreckage of the helicopter in the Rhinog mountains on Thursday.

Donald and Sharon Burke's daughter, Olivia, said the family had "changed within the space of a day".

They were taken far too soon and it’s hard for us to understand why such a tragedy would happen to the best type of people, who were so selfless and genuine to everyone they met.

They embodied every attribute of an amazing parent, sibling, child and friend. That will never be forgotten and will only make us aspire to do them proud.

We would appreciate if everyone could respect our wishes to be left alone and allow us the time to come to terms with the events of the last few days, through the support of our family and friends.

– Olivia Burke, Donald and Sharon Burke's daughter
A major search began last week after the aircraft failed to arrive in Dublin Credit: PA

Sharon Burke's mother issued special thanks to the emergency services and public for all their help "in the search and recovery of our loved ones".

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their support and messages of condolences on the loss of our wonderful daughter, sister and auntie, Sharon Burke, her husband Donald, his brothers Kevin and Barry also Kevin's wife Ruth.

We are truly overwhelmed with all your love and support.

Our thoughts at this time are especially with Sharon and Donald's three wonderful Children who are a credit to their parents.

We would like to pass on special thanks to all of the emergency services and public who helped in the search and recovery of our loved ones, also the police liaison officers who have been a great help at this difficult time.

– Kath Stewardson and the Stewardson family

North Wales Police says the remains of the helicopter have now been recovered and transported for a "detailed examination" by the Air Accident Investigation Board.

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