“No indications of survivors” after wreckage found in Hawaii helicopter crash

By December 28, 2019 No Comments

Original Article. Authorities said Friday they had recovered remains of six of the seven people on board a tour helicopter that crashed along one of the most rugged and remote coastlines in Hawaii. Kauai Fire Department Battalion Chief Sol Kanoho said at a press conference Friday that there are “no indications of survivors.”

The helicopter had failed to return Thursday from an excursion over a mountainous area on the island of Kauai. Authorities wouldn’t comment on the conditions of the crash until the National Transportation Safety Board arrives to investigate. The NTSB said they are sending three investigators.

Kauai authorities said they’ll return to the site of the wreckage ― in a remote area of Kokee ― on Saturday to search for the seventh set of remains.

The helicopter was carrying a pilot and six passengers, including two children, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV reports. The chopper didn’t come back from a tour off the Na Pali coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these passengers,” said Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami in a news release. “Operations continue and we are doing everything we can at this time.”

Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Cox, of Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center Honolulu, called weather conditions in the search area “challenging,” with low visibility and blustery winds.

“We have trained crews responding and on scene searching for any signs of the helicopter and those aboard,” Cox said in a news release issued Thursday night.

The Coast Guard was alerted to the missing Kauai-based helicopter at about 6 p.m. local time Thursday, some 40 minutes after it was supposed to return.

The aircraft is equipped with an electronic locator, but no signals have been received, officials said.

The Coast Guard said it launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a cutter and other resources to search for the missing helicopter.