Seven killed in helicopter crash in eastern France

21st June 2009, Comments 0 comments

All seven people on board a private helicopter were killed Saturday when the aircraft crashed into a mountain in eastern France, local firefighters said

Lyon - All seven people on board a private helicopter were killed Saturday when the aircraft crashed into a mountain in eastern France, local firefighters said.

The victims were the pilot and six staff members of a theme park who were on leave, the management of the park said.

The helicopter belonging to the Azur Helicoptere company had taken off from the Walibi theme park in the Isere region before crashing into Mount Cordon, in the neighbouring department of Ain, the emergency services said.

The helicopter company declined to comment on the accident, which firefighters said happened around 7:00 p.m. near the town of Bregnier-Cordon.

"A witness called in the accident. He saw this blue and white helicopter flying at a low altitude before losing sight of it and then he heard a explosion and smelled a strong odour of kerosene," said Captain Frederic Bertin of the fire and rescue operations centre for Ain.

Weather conditions were reasonable at the time of the crash. The reason for the crash was not yet known, officials said.

Some 50 firefighters from Ain and also the Isere and Savoie regions converged on the site of the crash, the officials said.

AFP / Expatica

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