Long wait to recover bodies from Antarctic crash

The bodies of the three Canadian men believed killed in a plane crash in Antarctica will not be recovered until at least October, Antarctica New Zealand says.

A rescue mission was launched by New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), with the help of United States and Canadian officials for the Twin Otter plane and its three crew after the flight from the South Pole failed to arrive at Terra Nova Bay on Wednesday.

On Saturday the wreckage was located on a very steep slope near the top of Mt Elizabeth, halfway between the South Pole and McMurdo Station.

The plane had suffered a major impact and "the front of the aircraft is firmly imbedded in snow and ice" Antarctica New Zealand spokesman Graeme Ayres told Radio New Zealand.

It had been too dangerous to attempt to recover the bodies, and Mr Ayres said the recovery of the bodies had now been deferred until the next Antarctic science season which begins in October this year.

The site of the crash, which is at a height of 3900 metres, was remote and difficult to access.


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