Six bodies have been found following a helicopter crash in Hawaii earlier this week, according to officials.
On Friday, shortly after the site of the crash was first discovered on the island of Kauai, authorities gave an update on their search, which began on Thursday, after the Coast Guard was notified that the aircraft, which had seven people on board, had failed to return at its scheduled time following a sightseeing tour.
“We have uncovered 6 sets of remains. There are no indications of survivors,” Kauai Fire Department Battalion Chief Sol Kanoho said at the press conference, adding that they had to put an end to their search for the day due to “fog and poor visibility,” but intended to resume on Saturday morning, weather permitting.
“We are still in process of notifying the next of kin and we are not able to release any names at this time,” Kanoho added, noting that he would also not be releasing “too many details about the wreckage” until all the family members had been contacted.
Although authorities have yet to identify the victims of the crash, earlier in the day Kanoho said there were two separate families on board the aircraft, according to NBC News.
Information about the pilot as well as the weather conditions on the day of the crash have also yet to be released.
“We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami added, according to Hawaii News Now. “We are heartbroken by this tragedy and we continue to ask the public to consider the sensitive nature of this devastating situation.”
“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,” Gov. David Ige wrote in a statement on Friday evening. “The State of Hawai‘i offered its support as rescue and recovery efforts continue & will do whatever it can to assist with the federal investigation.”
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 State of Hawai‘i offered its support as rescue and recovery efforts continue & will do whatever it can to assist with the federal investigation. pic.twitter.com/iYSeM6c9mm— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) December 28, 2019
In a previous statement, the Coast Guard said that authorities were first alerted to the disappearance of the aircraft after the helicopter’s owner contacted authorities just after 6 p.m. on Thursday.
One pilot and six passengers, two of whom are believed to be minors, were on board.
“The weather conditions are challenging,” Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Cox of the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu said in the statement. “We have trained crews responding and on scene searching for any signs of the helicopter and those aboard.”
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The island of Kauai is located west of Honolulu, and is 80 percent uninhabited. Much of it is a state park, and many tour companies offer helicopter tours so that visitors can observe its natural beauty, according to the Coast Guard.