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Seven die in Fox glacier helicopter crash

Seven die in Fox glacier helicopter crash
November 22, 2015

Six tourists, including two Australians, are believed to be among seven people killed in a helicopter crash on New Zealand’s South Island on Saturday.

The helicopter came down in bad weather conditions, crashing into a crevasse on the Fox Glacier.

A paramedic had been winched down to the site of the crash and reported that there were no survivors among the pilot and his six passengers, with a recovery effort and scene examination “likely to take some days”, according to local police.

The glacier on the remote west coast of South Island is a popular tourism destination with other visitors were in the area at the time, many of them also being ferried in helicopters.

Inspector John Canning said the helicopter was in a crevasse 750 metres up the valley. Debris was scattered across hundreds of metres around the crash site, which was in a “heavily crevassed” area.

The helicopter that crashed is believed to be a Eurocopter Squirrel operated by local firm Alpine Adventures.

Inspector Canning told media "Police received a phone call this morning to say that there was a helicopter missing at the top of the Fox glacier, subsequently we've had rescue helicopter up there and discovered the wreckage of an aircraft up there.

"The aircraft was carrying the pilot and six passengers. There is no sign of life up at the scene, and tomorrow when the weather improves we'll be going back into the scene to

Inspector Canning added that Police were liaising with the embassies of the countries concerned to inform the victims’ families.

Rob Jewell, Chairman of the Glacier Country Tourism Group, which represents operators providing visitor services at Fox and nearby Franz Josef Glacier, said everyone was deeply shocked by the accident.

Jewell stated “we’re a small-knit community here. It’s a small village and everyone knows everybody, so it’s a matter of looking after each other.

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission said it would investigate the cause of the crash and would be sending officials to the area.

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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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