Officials in Hawaii have confirmed the recovery of six bodies in Kauai after a tour helicopter crashed on the island’s remote north coast.
The wreckage was found on Friday in a mountainous area. Concern was immediately raised when the helicopter was reported overdue to land back at home base at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening.
Seven total people were on board, including six tourists—two of whom were minor children, according to the U.S. Coast Guard—and the pilot. The search continues for the seventh body.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement earlier Friday that “Our thoughts are with the families of those onboard as search and rescue crews work at the site of the helicopter crash on Kauai.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said it will send three investigators to the scene of the crash. According to NBC affiliate KHNL in Honolulu, third is the third helicopter crash in Hawaii this year.
U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) said in a statement Friday “Tour helicopter and small aircraft operations are not safe, and innocent lives are paying the price.”
Case has been an outspoken critic of the industry and in September introduced a bill that would impose strict regulations on commercial tour operators, including helicopters and small planes. It would require that tour flight pilots focus on flying the aircraft and not also act as tour guides. It also would restrict where they can fly and how low.
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