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Seven People Die in Helicopter Crash on New Zealand Glacier

A helicopter crashed Saturday morning local time on a New Zealand glacier, killing seven people, New Zealand police said.

The helicopter went down around 10 a.m. NZDT Saturday (4 p.m. EST Friday) on Fox Glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. The glacier is in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Four United Kingdom citizens and two Australians were believed to be passengers on the flight along with a local pilot, police said in a news release. Both countries' embassies have been notified to help locate next of kin.

A cold front was moving through the region at the time of the crash, AccuWeather Meteorologist Robert Richards said.

"The system was causing showers and squall-like conditions with winds 60-80 km/h (40-60 mph)," Richards said.

Low clouds and rain showers were in the area, Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn told The Associated Press.

The helicopter was located in a crevasse of the glacier but rescuers were initially unable to reach the site due to the difficult terrain.

A recovery operation, which may take some days, is expected to begin Sunday, police said.

Nine people were killed in a September 2010 plane crash at the glacier's aerodrome, according to New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigating Commission, which is investigating the latest crash.