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Five dead as plane collides with helicopter over Italian Alps

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Five dead as plane collides with helicopter over Italian Alps
A helicopter over the Italian Alps. File photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Five people were killed and two injured when a helicopter collided with a light aircraft in the Alps in northern Italy, mountain rescue officials said.

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Italy's mountain rescue service reported "a crash between a helicopter and a light aircraft" on Friday afternoon above the Rutor glacier in the Aosta Valley near France, and sent two helicopters to help.

The rescue service originally reported four victims, before upping the number to five. Another two people were flown to hospital, it said.

Paramedics and firefighters specialized in cutting sheet metal were also on the scene, it said.

The rescue service described the plane involved in the crash as a "tourist aircraft". Early reports suggest that it may have been a private plane offering heliski tours of Courmayeur, according to Rai News.

According to Italy's Air Safety Agency (ANSV), the collision was between an AS350 helicopter and a Jodel D.140E, a five-seater monoplane.

It's not yet known how many were onboard either aircraft at the time.

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