Officials arrange to bring body of Irish skydiving victim home

Efforts are underway to bring home the body of the young Irish man who died in a plane crash in New Zealand over the weekend.

Patrick Byrne, 24, from Brideswell in County Wexford, died along with eight other people who were taking part in a skydiving trip over the Fox Glacier on the South Island.

The young electrician was on a working holiday visa and had only been in New Zealand for three weeks when he decided to take part in a skydiving expedition over the idyllic Fox Glacier.

The aircraft in which he was travelling along with eight others - all in their 20s and 30s, crashed and burst into flames on impact, shortly after takeoff.

Patrick had been a keen GAA player in his local club.

The mayor of Greymouth, the area where the crash happened, said unfortunately the area is no stranger to tragedy, adding it is a risky area which is popular with thrillseekers.

Among the dead were an 18-year-old Australian, a 24-year-old English man and a 23-year-old German woman. The pilot and four local men also died.

A police disaster team are investigating the incident and trying to identify the cause of the crash.

The return of Patrick Byrne's body is being organised by the Irish Embassy in Australia, and the Irish Consulate in New Zealand as well as with officials in Dublin.


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