Investigation Underway after Five Dead in Helicopter Crash in French Alps
9th December 2020
It was carrying out a training rescue operation in poor weather in the Savoie area. A pilot survived the accident. UPDATED
It came down near the town of Bonvillard.
The cause of the accident is unclear, but the weather was poor at the time.
The alarm was raised by a pilot who managed to escape from the helicopter, an Eurocopter EC135, and was found seriously injured at the scene.
The helicopter belongs to Service Aérien Français, a private company that conducts search-and-rescue missions.
It was carrying an air rescue crew on a training mission.
The crew onboard consisted of two pilots, one in training, along with two winch operators and two mountain rescue workers.
The mountain rescue workers were a 45-year old captain and 39-year old Brigadier – their names have not been released.
The investigation is being carried out by the Prosecutor’s office in Albertville.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted that he shared “support from the nation to the families, friend and colleagues of these French heroes”.
Pour sauver des vies, ils prennent tous les risques. Ce soir en Savoie, 3 membres du Secours aérien français et 2 CRS Alpes ont succombé à un crash d’hélicoptère. Une personne, blessée, se bat pour vivre. Soutien de la Nation aux familles, amis et collègues de ces héros français.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) December 8, 2020
A team of 40 people was involved in the rescue operation.
Three helicopters were deployed but could not get close to the crash site because of thick fog.
A ground crew and a doctor were able to reach the accident zone.
The French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, said he ‘s to visit the site of the crash on Wednesday.
We will be updating this article as we receive more information.