Emergency response helicopter crashes in central Italy

2017-01-24 14:43


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Rome - An emergency helicopter with six people onboard crashed at a ski resort in the central Italian mountains Tuesday in a fresh blow to a region reeling from earthquakes and a deadly avalanche.

Police said the chopper came down near the Campo Felice resort during a mission to evacuate an injured skier.

"The area where it came down is hard to access at the best of times, and thick fog is making it even more difficult," a police spokesperson told AFP.

"Several teams are trying to get there."

The helicopter issued a crash signal and the police had received reports of a loud explosion being heard, the spokesperson said.

Campo Felice is located close to the epicentres of recent earthquakes and last week's deadly avalanche.

It is a small resort popular with day-trippers from Rome, which is only 120km east of it.

The resort is at 710m altitude but the ski area goes up to just over 2 000m.

Police said there was no link to the recent seismic activity or the avalanche.

The accident happened as firefighters, mountain police and other emergency services are grappling with the aftermath of the earthquakes, the heaviest snowfalls experienced in decades and the avalanche that swamped the Hotel Rigopiano last week.

The Rigopiano is located on the other side of Monte Gran Sasso, the near 3 000m peak that dominates the area.

Read more on:    italy

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