New Zealand helicopter crash: 3 bodies recovered from Fox Glacier

7 feared dead in New Zealand helicopter crash
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    7 feared dead in New Zealand helicopter crash

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Story highlights

  • Three bodies have been recovered from the crash site in a crevasse
  • The search for victims is "extremely challenging," police say
  • Two Australians and four British citizens are believed to be among the dead

(CNN)Searchers in New Zealand have started to recover bodies from the crash site of a sightseeing helicopter that went down over a glacier with seven people aboard, police said.

Three bodies have been taken to a temporary mortuary facility for identification, which could take several days, according to a New Zealand Police statement Sunday.
    The helicopter crashed Saturday on Fox Glacier, a popular tourist destination on the nation's South Island.
    Its wreckage was found in a crevasse, and nobody is believed to have survived. The cause of the crash isn't yet clear.
    Those on board are believed to have included the 28-year-old New Zealand pilot, four British passengers aged between 50 and 70, and two Australians in their late 20s, authorities said.

    Recovery effort 'extremely challenging'

    The glacier is in a remote area near the thinly populated island's west coast, and recovery of the bodies could take days, police said.
    Searchers are contending with difficult conditions on the glacier, and police said Sunday afternoon that the recovery efforts had been halted because of deteriorating weather.
    "The operation is extremely challenging, and the safety of those working at the scene is of paramount importance," they said.
    Authorities have been working with the British and Australian embassies in New Zealand to notify the victims' next of kin.