Regional News — April 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm — Updated: April 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Snowdonia helicopter crash: families pay tribute

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Family tributes have been paid to the five people killed in a helicopter crash to Snowdonia.

The wreckage of the Twin Squirrel helicopter was recovered from the Rhinog mountains over the weekend after the bodies of the Burke family from Milton Keynes were removed.

The three men and two women had been travelling en-route from Luton to Dublin for a christening last Wednesday afternoon when the aircraft lost contact in Caernarfon Bay.

Donald and Sharon Burke –
family photo

The daughter of Donald and Sharon Burke, Olivia, said: ”Our family has changed within the space of a day. They were taken far too soon and it’s hard for us to understand why such a tragedy would happen to the best type of people, who were so selfless and genuine to everyone they met. They embodied every attribute of an amazing parent, sibling, child and friend. That will never be forgotten and will only make us aspire to do them proud.”

Kevin and Ruth Burke –
family photo

Kath Stewardson, speaking on behalf of the Stewardson family, thanked everyone for their support and messages of condolence: ”We are truly overwhelmed with all your love and support. Our thoughts at this time are especially with Sharon and Donald’s three wonderful children who are a credit to their parents.

”We would like to pass on special thanks to all of the emergency services and public who helped in the search and recovery of our loved ones, also the police liaison officers who have been a great help at this difficult time.”

Liaison officers from North Wales Police and Thames Valley Police are still supporting family members.

Barry Burke – family photo

The remains of the privately-owned helicopter have been taken to the Air Accident Investigation Board’s base at Loughborough for a detailed examination as part of the ongoing investigation.

The crash site remains cordoned off for further examination by North Wales Police, but the air restriction zone has now been lifted.

Chief Inspector Richie Green said: ”Now those who tragically lost their lives have been recovered and the wreckage removed a further methodical search and examination is required before we can release the scene”.

Anyone with information or who may have seen a helicopter in the Rhinog mountains between 12pm and 1pm on Wednesday 29th March should contact North Wales Police on 101.

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