Five dead as army aircraft collide over Var — French helicopter crash

Dominique Dufresne
Février 3, 2018

Two military training helicopters have crashed in southern France, killing five people, French police have said.

The army helicopters crashed near Lake Carcès, about 50km from Saint-Tropez.

A security source and an official from the local authority said five people were killed in the accident.

The cause of the collision was still unclear.

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Police said the area was uninhabited and nobody on the ground was hurt. "All are dead", police said in the nearby town of Brignoles.

The Gazelle, built in France and Britain, has been in service since 1973 and is currently deployed by the French army in Mali.

The incident is one of the deadliest such accidents involving the French armed forces in recent years.

"There will be a full investigation".

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The local police prefecture of Var confirmed earlier that there were "several fatalities" and that it had set up an emergency crisis centre at the scene.

The two aircraft were discovered about 600 metres apart, one having crashed onto a road and the other in a forest, Tarabeux said at a press conference on a tarmac at the EALAT school alongside defence minister Florence Parly.

The French-made Gazelle helicopters entered service in the 1970s, and are used for reconnaissance and light attacks as well as training.

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