FIVE bodies have been found among wreckage of a Dublin-bound helicopter that went missing yesterday.
It's believed the five people - three men and two women - who were travelling in the private helicopter to Ireland were part of an extended Irish family.
Formal identification is yet to take place but the families of the passengers are being supported by Police Liaison Officers.
When the helicopter failed to arrive in Dublin, a search operation was launched yesterday at 4.15pm over the Irish Sea by British Coastguard helicopters based at Caernarfon Bay and St Athan.
But due to low lying cloud, and extremely poor visibility the helicopters returned to their bases.
North Wales Police and the Mountain Rescue Teams took over the search this morning on the ground in the Snowdonia area of Wales.
Police have now confirmed that the wreckage of the helicopter and five bodies have been found in rough terrain in Snowdonia.
Supt. Gareth Evans at North Wales Police said: “The aircraft, a red Twin Squirrel helicopter had failed to arrive in Dublin from Luton yesterday afternoon instigating a full sea and then land search and rescue operation.
"Initially, its last known position was believed ‘over sea’ in the Caernarfon Bay area but this was then narrowed to a land based search co-ordinated by North Wales Police in Snowdonia involving all local and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams.
"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.
“Formal identification has not taken place so details of the passengers are not being revealed at this time," Supt Evans said.
The area where the helicopter was found has been described as "hazardous" and "is now subject of a full investigation led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch to establish what led up to and caused this tragic event," police added.