Authorities in Hawaii say the remains of six people have been recovered from the site of a tour helicopter crash on a Hawaiian island. There were no signs of any survivors, officials announced Friday afternoon, a few hours after search crews found the wreckage along the north coast of Kaua'i.
The tour helicopter took off Thursday afternoon with members of two families aboard, a party of two and a party of four, Solomon Kanoho, battalion chief of the Kauai Fire Department said. The Safari Helicopter was taking the group for a sightseeing tour of the Na Pali area on Kuau'i, an island west of Oahu. However, the last contact with the helicopter was reported at around 4:40 p.m. with the company reporting the helicopter as overdue around 6 p.m. Thursday. The aircraft was supposed to return at around 5:30 p.m. at the landing pad in the town of Lihue.
Identification of the victims has been withheld while authorities notify next-of-kin.
A search for a seventh person was suspended on Friday due to fog and poor visibility, but search operations were restarted Saturday at first light. Eighty percent of the island is uninhabited with the vast majority of its land designated as a state park. Visitors often tour the island aboard tour helicopters as weather permits.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige spoke on the crash, saying in a statement on Friday that: "Our thoughts are with the families of those on-board as search and rescue crews work at the site of the helicopter crash on Kauaʻi."
The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. The cause has not yet been determined.
This is the third tour helicopter crash in Hawaii so far this year, KHNL reported.