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Mount Taranaki search and rescue update

Mount Taranaki search and rescue update

Three highly experienced climbers and a photographer are battling abysmal conditions this morning to assess the Mount Taranaki aircraft crash site, following yesterday’s tragic plane crash.

The rescue team left New Plymouth at 5.30am this morning to begin the search.

Their assent to the plane wreckage, which is close to the summit of Mount Taranaki, will take about three and a half hours from a hut on the mountain that they are using as a base for their search. They are battling winds up to 70 to 100 knots.

They are expected to reach the plane wreck at about 10.30am.

Rescue Coordination Centre search and rescue officer John Dickson says the weather conditions couldn’t be much worse.

“The weather has deteriorated further since yesterday making it hazardous for the search team on the mountain. But we’re doing everything we can to get to the aircraft, assess the situation, record it, and possibly establish whether a second person is in there. The guys who are up there are doing a tremendous job in abysmal conditions,” he said.

NZ Police Area Commander Anne Knox says the team is highly experienced and competent, and they’re well-equipped with safety gear.

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