By Marie DeFreitas
A Hawaiian helicopter tour crashed on Thursday. The remains of six of the seven people have were as of Friday afternoon.
Debris was found in a secluded area of a state park on the northwest side of the island, police said in a news release according to CNN.
The helicopter crashed off of the coast of the island Kauai. It’s nicknamed “the Garden Isle” for being covered in dense rainforest. Kauai also displays dramatic cliffs and pinnacles and nearly 80% of it is uninhabited. Many helicopter tours are offered every day over the island. Several companies conduct helicopter tours every day on Kauai, depending on the weather, the Coast Guard said, according to CNN.
The Kauai Fire Department Battalion Chief Solomon Kanoho indicated there were no survivors. He said the search for the seventh person of the crash has been suspended due to fog. It will start again tomorrow.
Of the two families aboard, one was a group of four and two of the passengers were minors.
The crash occurred along the usual route that the tour helicopters fly, Kanoho said. The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter crashed about 13 miles north of the city of Hanapepe.
Several agencies, including the US Coast Guard, the US Navy and the Kauai Fire Department, were involved in the search for the helicopter. Other private helicopter companies also aided in the search.
After the helicopter had failed to return from a tour over the mountains on Thursday evening, the Coast Guard sent out a chopper. This was supported by a Coast Guard cutter, after the tour operator said its helicopter failed to return at 5:21 p.m.
The pilot’s last communication was at 4:40pm, when the tour was leaving the Waimea Canyon area. This was 40 minutes before the helicopter was supposed to return, according to a preliminary report received by USA Today.
Authorities wouldn’t comment on the conditions of the crash until the National Transportation Safety Board arrived to investigate. The NTSB said they are sending three investigators, according to CBS News.
The aircraft was equipped with an electronic locator, but no signals were received, according to officials. Safari Helicopters confirmed its helicopter was missing but declined to provide additional details, according to CNN.
According to a CNN report earlier this year, three people were killed on the island of Oahu in April when their tour helicopter crashed in a residential neighborhood.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these passengers,” said Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami in a news release. “Operations continue and we are doing everything we can at this time.”