Crash kills seven: Fox Glacier Helicopter Crash

Published: November 22, 2015

Crash kills seven: Fox Glacier Helicopter Crash, A spokesman for the helicopter company involved in the fatal crash on Fox Glacier has given a heartfelt message to the victims as police postpone the recovery of the four bodies remaining at the crash site.

Alpine Adventures organisational systems manager Barry Whiteland said “I do feel for the families involved. For the community. For everybody, because it’s not an easy time for any of us at this stage.”

Whiteland read a statement from the company outside the rescue co-ordination centre in Fox Glacier on Sunday afternoon saying “Fox Heli Services’ thoughts are now with the family and passengers and of the pilot of course.

Sovannmony Leang and Josephine Gibson from New South Wales died in the accident.

“The pilot [Mitchell Gameren] was a very valued team member of course with our company.

“As far as the company is concerned, we are very, very moved by it all.

“We had a meeting with the pilots this morning. A very sombre meeting.”

Police have identified all seven people who were killed when their helicopter came down on Fox Glacier.

The company plans to return to operations but at this stage it was not clear when that would happen.

Police have postponed the recovery of the bodies for the remaining four victims.

West Coast inspector John Canning, of Greymouth said “we have severe weather forecast for the next two days but if we do get a window we will start going up there again.

Nigel and Cynthia Charlton.

Katharine Walker of Cambridge, England, was killed in the Fox Glacier crash.

Rescue crew board a helicopter to head to the Fox Glacier crash site.

Rescue crew get ready to board a helicopter to head to the Fox Glacier valley where a helicopter crashed, killing 7.

A tourist who was on the glacier at the time of the fatal crash described the mood as ‘sombre’.

The crashed helicopter was found in a crevasse on the glacier.

Pilot Mitch Gameren died along with the six passengers he was transporting.

American photographer Alex Baranda was on a Fox Glacier tour at the same time as the fatal helicopter crash which claimed seven lives but his group was unaware of the accident.

Poor conditions on Sunday morning initially hampered efforts to recover the bodies.

Weather conditions in the valley can change extremely quickly.

Recovery teams were able to get up to the crash site which was 760m up the glacier.

A no-fly zone meant tourists had to walk up to see the glacier.


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