The Malta Independent 23 June 2018, Saturday

Updated (2): Six dead as rescue helicopter crashes in heavy snow and fog in central Italy

Associated Press Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 13:15 Last update: about 2 years ago

Six people died when a rescue helicopter crashed in central Italy. 

The Augusta AW139 of the emergency rescue services - similar to those used by the Armed Forces of Malta - crashed as it was ferrying an injured skier from the Campo Felice ski resort. Four crew members and a medic were also on board. None survived. 

Rescuers were hampered by heavy snow and poor visibility but eventually managed to reach the crash using infrared imaging equipment. 

Pictures released this afternoon show that the front end of the aircraft was completely destroyed. 

Earlier, Italy's civil protection agency spokesman Luigi D'Angelo said the helicopter was taking the injured skier from the Campo Felice ski area to the Abruzzo regional capital of L'Aquila. The aircraft reportedly crashed from a height of 600 metres, around a kilometre away from the Campo Felice slopes. 

The area is in Abruzzo, the same mountainous region where emergency crews have been working around the clock to recover victims of the powerful Jan. 18 avalanche that crushed a hotel. 

Picture: ANSA

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