Crash occurred at altitude of 1,800 metres
Five people have died after a helicopter crash in the French Alps, with only the pilot surviving.
All of those aboard were members of the CRS Alpes, the French mountain rescue services. The national police said the accident occured during a training mission in mountain rescue.
The crash occurred at an altitude of 1,800 metres on Tuesday afternoon in south-eastern France near the town of Bovillard, according to a statement released by the Savoie prefecture.
Local police reported that the accident had occurred on a wooded area of the Grand Arc massif in difficult weather conditions. The accident area is covered with more than 40 centimetres snow.
“To save lives, they take all the risks,” President Emmanuel Macron reacted on Twitter.
“Support from the nation for the families, friends and colleagues of these French heroes” , he added.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced that he would visit the incident scene on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Investigation and Analysis has announced an immediate investigation, and is preparing to send investigators to the site.
“As soon as the alert was given around 7pm, the entire rescue chain was set in motion. Both helicopter assets from our department and neighbouring departments with three helicopters in total,” Pascal Bolot, Director of State Protection and Security and General Secretariat for Defence and National Security, said.
“In view of the fog, a ground intervention was carried out within the same timeframe, so as to be able to find the survivors as quickly as possible”, he added.