Six killed as ski rescue chopper smashes into mountainside
A helicopter ferrying an injured skier off the slopes smashed into a mountainside near the avalanche site in central Italy, killing all six people aboard.
The helicopter disintegrated in the crash, with only the tail propellers and rear section still intact. Rescue crews brought the bodies down in sleds to waiting vehicles.
Visibility at the time was only about 20 meters "and with the snow conditions visibility was practically nothing," said Marshall Paolo Passalacqua, of the financial police's Alpine division. "We had a really hard time trying to find the wreckage."
He confirmed five crew members plus the injured skier had perished.
The helicopter was taking the injured skier from the Campo Felice ski area to L'Aquila, the regional capital about 15km away.
The area is in Abruzzo's mountains, about 100km from the location of the avalanche in Farindola last week.