All five victims recovered from helicopter wreckage in Snowdonia

North Wales Police have officially named all five of the victims following the recovery of the bodies

All five victims recovered from helicopter wreckage in Snowdonia

An image of the crash site released by North Wales Police

Rescue operators have recovered all five bodies from the wreckage of the helicopter that went down in the Welsh mountains en route to Dublin on Wednesday.

North Wales Police have officially released details of all five victims this afternoon following consultation with the family.

They have been named as Kevin and Ruth Burke aged 56 and 49, Donald and Sharon Burke aged 55 and 48 respectively and 51 year old Barry Burke.

All are members of the same extended family based in the Milton Keynes area.

The family has strong Irish connections and were on their way to Ireland for a family event.

Ruth Burke was born in Dublin before moving to live in the UK.

In a statement to the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper yesterday, 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 their grief over this terrible loss and concentrate upon looking after the children.”

This afternoon, North Wales Police Chief Inspector Richie Green paid tribute to the professionalism, bravery and skill of all involved in the rescue operation.

“Shortly before 3.30pm this afternoon the last of the five who were on board the helicopter were recovered and they have now been transported to a local hospitals mortuary,” he said.

“Thames Valley Police Family Liaison Officers have informed family members and we can now begin the very difficult process of formal identification. 

“We’ll continue to support the family and I’d simply ask both media and public alike to respect their privacy at this time. Our thoughts remain with the extended family and their friends.”

The wreckage was discovered yesterday after the aircraft went missing on a journey from Luton to Dublin on Wednesday afternoon.

The helicopter took off just after 11:30am and radar contact was lost just after 12pm.

Chief inspector Green said the Air Accident Investigation Board will now, “begin in earnest to establish how this accident happened.”     

An exclusion zone remains around the crash site with members of the public urged to keep away from the area.

Recovery of the helicopter is expected to begin this weekend depending on the weather conditions.

Chief Inspector Green called for anyone who was in the Rhinog Mountains area of Snowdonia between 12 noon and 1pm on Wednesday 29th March and may have heard or seen the helicopter to contact North Wales Police via the live web chat