I have just become aware of a helicopter crash into a crevasse at Fox Glacier. Alpine Adventures was the first company we did a snow landing with on our first New Zealand holiday. And having not long returned from a holiday (Oct) to the picture perfect land of the long white cloud this tragedy makes me so very sad and makes my heart ache. We once again did a snow landing on the glacier, this time with another company but this type of activity is so very much experienced by so many and usually leaves many wonderful memories but sadly for these beautiful souls this was not to be. Indeed there will be many questions asked and many investigations to be had and I am sure many wondering why the pilot flew if the conditions were poor but for now I send my blessings and may you RIP and all my LOVE, strength, prayers and sympathy to the family and friends of these beautiful people.
With the Paris deaths on my mind this tragedy is hard to comprehend.
Seven people, including the pilot, have been killed in a helicopter crash on Fox Glacier.
Emergency services said weather conditions were too bad for crews to reach the scene to recover the bodies.
Police confirmed on Saturday afternoon all seven people on board were killed.
A recovery effort and scene examination was “likely to take some days”, police said.
Inspector John Canning said the helicopter was in a crevasse 2500ft (762m) up the valley. Debris was scatted hundreds of metres around the crash site.
Canning said the recovery would be very difficult in the dangerous terrain.
“I’m not going to risk any more lives, we’ve lost seven.”
Officers were trying to locate crash victims’ next of kin.
Earlier, four choppers responded to the crash site.
One paramedic and a rescue were winched down to the scene.
It was understood the company involved was called Alpine Adventures.
Vince Cholewa, from the rescue centre, said two choppers had flown from Christchurch, one from Greymouth and one from Fox Glacier, with a cliff rescue team on board.
Cholewa described the area as “heavily crevassed”.
Glacier Country Tourism Group member Chris Alexander said emergency services had tried “their damnedest” to reach the scene.
There was cloud and rain in the area where the crash occurred, MetService said.
St John was alerted to the crash at 11.05am on Saturday.
Mark Quickfall, a director at another Fox Glacier helicopter company Glacier Helicopters, said it was not his company affected by the crash.
He said: “I don’t have all the details but we’re not involved. It’s extremely sad news.”
Franz Josef community development officer Helen Lash said the helicopter fraternity were “very very tight” between the two West Coast towns of Fox Glacier and Franz Josef.
“Anything at this stage is sheer speculation and until official confirmation comes out we won’t be releasing comment.
“But our thoughts are certainly with the Fox Glacier community and also the helicopter fraternity, because there are a lot of businesses between Fox and Franz – some of them are duplicated in both towns and it’s a very, very tight community. We would like to respect that.”
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has opened an inquiry into the incident, head of communications and support Peter Northcote said.
“We’re in the process of deploying a camp of four people who will be arriving early evening.”
They would find out what happened, and if there was anything that could be done to help prevent another occurrence.
MICHAEL WRIGHT, KASHKA TUNSTALL, SAM SHERWOOD AND EMILY SPINK
Last updated 16:36, November 21 2015
Posted by cherz, 21st November 2015