The bodies of five people have been found with the wreckage of a helicopter following a search in Snowdonia. North Wales Police said they would not be revealing the precise location “at this time to allow a dignified and unhindered recovery of the bodies”. A statement added that the terrain was “described as very difficult and challenging”.

Superintendent Gareth Evans 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. The search had been “co-ordinated by North Wales Police in Snowdonia involving all local and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams”.

Superintendent Evans said conditions were “described as atrocious with visibility down to less than 10 metres in places”, adding that the area was “remote and in places hazardous”. Formal identification of those on board the helicopter is yet to take place, while their families are being supported by Police Family Liaison Officers. The privately-owned Twin Squirrel aircraft went missing on Wednesday afternoon.