Drama in the Alps: Six mountain rescue workers are in a helicopter when it crashes. Only the pilot survived.
Five people were killed in a helicopter crash in the French Alps. The responsible prefect Pascal Bolot said on Tuesday evening that the pilot survived the crash in the Savoy region with life-threatening injuries. On board the helicopter were two helpers from the Alpine rescue team and four employees from the private air rescue service Aérien Français (Saf). It was a “dramatic accident,” said Bolot.
The accident happened shortly after 7 p.m. at an altitude of 1,800 meters near the municipality of Bonvillard. The pilot raised the alarm and, according to the initial findings, was able to get out of the helicopter. The pilot’s recovery is still underway and will be very difficult, prefect Bolot said late in the evening. Weather conditions are problematic because of the fog. The crash also took place in a steep area.
In the evening there were about 40 rescue workers on the ground and three helicopters in service around the accident site. The cause of the accident was still unclear. The French aviation security service BEA has announced that it will investigate the incident. The helicopter was a light, twin-engined multi-purpose helicopter of the Airbus EC135 type, which is often used in air rescue.
“They all take risks to save lives,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. “The country’s support for the families, friends and colleagues of these French heroes.” Prime Minister Jean Castex also expressed his condolences to the relatives. They would all have had the same commitment: to save lives.
The Saf was founded in 1979 as a private mountain rescue company and is in use all year round in the Alpine region. In addition to the mountain rescue, she also takes care of medical transport, but is also involved in firefighting.