'˜Six children have lost their parents' in tragic helicopter crash

The bodies of five people have been found with the wreckage of a missing helicopter in Snowdonia, North Wales Police have confirmed.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 30th March 2017, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:34 pm

It is believed that the people on the helicopter were local businessman Kevin Burke, his wife Ruth Burke, his two brother’s and one of their wives.

Sources say that the couple’s children were not on board.It is also believed that the flight was on route to a business trip in Ireland and due to re-fuel in Wales.

The private helicopter disappeared over the Irish sea just after 4pm yesterday - prompting a search by the UK coastguard in the Caernarfon Bay area of North Wales.

The helicopter is believed to be Mr Burke’s private twin squirrel red helicopter, owned by his company Staske Construction Limited, and the operation to locate it is ongoing.

Mr Burke has also been a director of Bletchley based construction firm Tubular Erectors Limited for the last 21 years. The company has carried out structural steel work on developments including Shenley Brook End School, Stadium:MK, and Milton Keynes Hospital.

The 57-year-old, a former student at Lord Grey School, was also the deputy chairman of Hulcote and Salford Parish Council as recently as three years ago and was a very experienced pilot, who flew to Manchester almost daily, according to a source.

The helicopter is understood to have taken off from Mr Burke’s home yesterday (Wednesday) at Brook Farm in Hulcote (pictured).

Mr Burke regularly took businessman from the local area on trips on his private helicopter, but it is not yet known whether any other MK residents may have been on board.

A spokesman for the family said: “Six children have lost their parents in this tragedy.

“At this stage the family wants to be left alone to be able to deal with thier grief over this terrible loss and concentrate upon looking after the children.”

Supt. Gareth Evans at North Wales Police said: “Local conditions were described as atrocious with visibility down to less than 10 metres in places.

“My thanks go out to the professionalism and commitment of all those personnel involved in this operation.”