News World Bodies found at wreckage of missing Hawaii helicopter

Bodies found at wreckage of missing Hawaii helicopter

A helicopter with seven on board did not return from a tour of Kauai's rugged Na Pali Coast. Photo: Getty
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The remains of six people have been found after a helicopter heading to one of the most rugged and remote coastlines in Hawaii crashed at the top of a mountain on the island of Kauai, authorities said.

Officials said on Friday that there are no indications of survivors and that a search for the last person yet to be recovered would resume in the morning, depending on weather.

Those who were recovered have not been identified and their families are being notified, authorities said.

A search began for the helicopter carrying a pilot and six passengers from two families after it was reported overdue Thursday evening from a tour of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.

Two passengers are believed to be minors, the Coast Guard said.

Rescuers resumed their search on Friday after steep terrain, low visibility, choppy seas and rain complicated the effort, the Coast Guard said.

The helicopter company, identified as Safari Helicopters, contacted the Coast Guard about 45 minutes after the aircraft was due back from a tour of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast on Thursday evening, a Coast Guard statement said.

The Eurocopter AS350 lifted off from the town of Lihue, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Aboard were a pilot and six passengers, two of whom were believed to be children, the Coast Guard said.

The Na Pali Coast is one of the most dramatic and sought-after destinations in Hawaii.

Towering mountains with deep ravines and huge waterfalls make up the interior of the uninhabited state park.

Red rock cliffs with thick jungle canopies rise from the Pacific Ocean to over 1,200 metres.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman Dan Dennison, who has spent years visiting and photographing the area, said winter brings more rain and turbulent seas.