Remains of six recovered from missing Hawaii helicopter wreckage

No indications anyone survived the crash and the search for the last person on board will continue on Saturday.

    US Coast Guard responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people on board [Justin Shackleford/US Coast Guard via AP]
    US Coast Guard responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people on board [Justin Shackleford/US Coast Guard via AP]

    The remains of six people have been found at the crash site of a tour helicopter that went missing in Hawaii, officials said.

    Seven people were initially on board the aircraft, which failed to return on Thursday afternoon.

    There were no indications anyone survived the crash and the search for the last person on board will continue on Saturday morning, fire authorities said on Friday, according to local media.

    "The remains of six individuals were recovered Friday afternoon at the site of the helicopter wreckage in Kokee near Nualolo," the county of Kauai said in a statement.

    The victims' identities have not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin.

    The passengers on board the helicopter had been in two groups - a party of two from one family and a party of four from another.

    Hawaii - Crash
    Coast Guard, local police and fire departments and others are searching for the missing helicopter [Daniel Winter/US Coast Guard via AP]

    According to the statement, final recovery efforts were suspended due to weather conditions but would resume Saturday morning.

    "We are heartbroken by this tragedy and we continue to ask the public to consider the sensitive nature of this devastating situation," said Kauai's mayor, Derek Kawakami.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all victims," he said.

    Authorities were notified that an aircraft from Safari Helicopters, which had been on a tour over the Na Pali area, was missing at approximately 6pm on Thursday (04:00 GMT Friday).

    "The last contact with the helicopter was made at approximately 4:40pm, when the pilot relayed that the tour was leaving the Waimea Canyon area," the statement said.

    The Coast Guard, local police and fire departments and other agencies then launched a search for the missing helicopter.

    Kauai - Hawaii's fourth-largest island - boasts mountains, valleys and jagged cliffs, with lush tropical rainforests earning it the nickname "Garden Island".

    SOURCE: News agencies