7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.
From CNN and AFP/NST
Emergency services on Saturday found the bodies of two people missing after a helicopter and a small plane collided above a glacier in the Italian Alps the previous day, taking the total number killed to seven.
The crash occurred over the Rutor glacier near La Thuile, in the Aosta Valley, close to northern Italy’s border with France and Switzerland.
Five people were confirmed dead and two injured on Friday.
The two people who remained missing were found after the search resumed Saturday morning.
Two helicopters were sent up carrying medical personnel and emergency rescue workers to scour the area, the officer said. All those on board the two aircraft are now accounted for.
The helicopter was carrying six people — the pilot, an alpine guide and four passengers who were heli-skiing. Three people were aboard the light aircraft, all of them pilots who were training in mountain flying.
The two injured remain in the hospital, the officer said. Italy’s mountain emergency service tweeted Friday that they were of French and Swiss nationality.
Investigators are now working to piece together what led to the crash.
Italy police probe French pilot over helicopter-plane crash
Italian police were investigating a French pilot Sunday over the deaths of seven people in a collision between a helicopter and light aircraft in the Alps, according to media reports.
The pilot, named as Philippe Michel and one of only two survivors of the deadly accident in the Aosta Valley near France late Friday, was questioned by police in hospital, the Messaggero daily and other outlets reported.
The crash appeared to have happened just after the helicopter took off, unaware that the French Jodel plane was landing.
“The collision happened in flight, probably at a few dozen metres above ground. The wreckage from the aircrafts was spread over an area of about 400 metres square,” Alpine rescue group leader Paolo Comune told the media.
The Italian helicopter pilot, a German alpine guide and three German heli-skiers were killed, along with a French national and a Belgian. Michel and an injured German were airlifted to hospital in Aosta.
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Featured Image: 7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Ski map of La Thuile.