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Helicopter crashes in Snowdonia killing five people on board

The recovery of the bodies of five members of the same family who died when their helicopter crashed in Snowdonia has been completed.

With the family’s consent details of all 5 passengers are now confirmed as Kevin and Ruth Burke aged 56 and 49, Donald and Sharon Burke aged 55 and 48 respectively and 51 year old Barry Burke. All are from the greater Milton Keynes area.

Two of those on board the helicopter have been named locally as Kevin and Ruth Burke from Hulcote, near Milton Keynes.

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Snowdonia helicopter crash: Recovery operation hampered by weather

Specially trained ‘recovery’ officers from North Wales Police and Mountain Rescue Teams are still being hampered by both weather and terrain as they try to recover the bodies of those who lost their lives in Wednesday’s helicopter crash in the Rhinog Mountains in Snowdonia National Park.

The location of the crash site is both remote and treacherous.

Access is only possible on foot, the site being approximately 4 km or 2 hours walk over very challenging terrain, from the last discernible road and access to this road is only possible with a 4x4 vehicle.

The site itself, and access to it, is precarious, on a steep slope and covered in heather, lichen and moss which after the recent heavy rain is making just standing upright difficult.

At over 700m above sea level just getting to the site involves a degree of ‘scrambling’.

Weather is unfortunately worsening making the task of getting both personnel and their equipment there alone very difficult and potentially dangerous.

That said both Police and Mountain Rescue Teams are utterly determined and focused in recovering all those lost as quickly and as sensitively as possible so they can be reunited with their families.

– Chief Inspector Richie Green, North Wales Police

Trained, experienced mountain rescue personnel are finding the terrain difficult and challenging.

There are no footpaths and the ground underfoot is treacherous in places even for the most experienced however we are all unwavering in our determination to assist reunite the families with those who lost their lives.

– Phil Benbow, Chairman of the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association

A joint investigation led by the AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch) is underway and investigators are at the scene to assist forensic recovery of the aircraft.

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