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Thursday 19 October 2017

Tributes to five killed in chopper accident

Police release photo of crash location (Inset: Two of the victims, Ruth and Kevin Burke)
Police release photo of crash location (Inset: Two of the victims, Ruth and Kevin Burke)
Emergency services head to the crash site in north Wales. Photo: PA
Ruth Burke, who died in the helicopter crash in Wales
A footpath leading up the Snowdonia mountain range in north Wales where the search for theTwin Squirrel helicopter was focused early on Thursday (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Vehicles parked outside the Llanberis Mountain Rescue station in the Snowdonia mountain range in north Wales (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
A vehicle parked outside the Llanberis Mountain Rescue station in the Snowdonia mountain range in north Wales (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Vehicles parked outside the Llanberis Mountain Rescue station in the Snowdonia mountain range in north Wales (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @crugfarmplants of smoke rising from a mountain in the Yr Aran area of Snowdonia, as North Wales Police said that emergency services are at the scene of an incident involving a helicopter
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @huw_price of a rescue helicopter in the Yr Aran area of Snowdonia, as North Wales Police said that emergency services are at the scene of an incident involving a helicopter
A rescue helicopter searches over Barmouth as two boys and a man are missing in the sea off the Welsh coast in separate incidents
RNLI lifeboat and a rescue helicopter searching Barmouth Beach as two boys and a man are feared dead after they went missing off the Welsh coast in separate incidents
Victim: Pilot Kevin Burke

Ralph Riegel and Tom Shiel

Relatives have spoken of their heartbreak at the death of five members of a UK-based Irish family in a helicopter crash in Wales.

Atrocious weather conditions including rapidly deteriorating visibility are now considered to have been key factors in the tragedy. The revelation came as UK rescue officials defied appalling weather in the Rhinog mountains in Snowdonia in north Wales to recover the bodies of brothers Kevin, Barry and Donald Burke, as well as Kevin's wife, Ruth, and sister-in-law, Sharon.

The helicopter crashed on Wednesday en route to Dublin.

Mayo publican Noel Collins, a cousin of the Burke brothers, said the Kilcummin area was shocked. "They would have been here [in the pub] tomorrow [Saturday] night if things had gone right. They were on their way over.

"Kevin would go out farming with me as a lad, making turf, saving hay. In later years, like the others, he would help out in the bar. There was no one friendlier with the lads than me," he said.

British model and celebrity TV star Danielle Lloyd paid tribute to Kevin and Ruth Burke, with whom she was very friendly. "They were two of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege to meet and my thoughts and prayers are with all the family," she said.

Irish Independent

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