6 Sep 2010

Travellers cut trip short after Fox Glacier crash

4:48 pm on 6 September 2010

Some of those travelling with four foreign tourists who died in the Fox Glacier air crash on Saturday have cut short their trips to leave the country.

The four - from Australia, Ireland, England and Germany - were among the nine killed in the crash. They were aged between 18 and 26.

The youngest was Glenn Bourke from Melbourne, who was on his first overseas trip. They were all from a Kiwi Experience tourist bus.

Company spokesperson Sue Sullivan says there was a memorial service at Fox Glacier on Sunday night and those who were not leaving the country had travelled on to Queenstown.

Ms Sullivan says most of the travellers are continuing with the tour.

Post-mortems have begun in Auckland.

Teams from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are continuing their investigations at the scene.

The commission says the fire after the plane's impact destroyed large parts of the aircraft, but the engine and tail section are intact enough to be examined.

Sadness at deaths of skydivers

The organisation responsible for setting skydiving standards says it is shocked and saddened by the crash.

The pilot, four skydive instructors and four overseas tourists died when their aircraft crashed at the end of the Fox Glacier airport runway on Saturday afternoon.

Stuart Bean from the Parachute Industry Association knew several of those killed. He says Skydive New Zealand, which owned the plane, had an impeccable safety record.