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Eurocopter crash in French Alps kills 6

Six employees of Eurocopter were killed in a helicopter crash in the French Alps.

Eurocopter crash french alps kills 6 july 25 2012Enlarge
A Eurocopter crash in the French Alps on July 25, 2012 killed six of the company's employees. (GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Six employees of the aircraft maker Eurocopter were killed in a helicopter crash in the French Alps during a test flight on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

According to local police, the crash happened at 1:30 p.m. in a steep section of the Verdon Gorge in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, said Reuters.

Initial reports from local police said the helicopter was an army aircraft, said Agence France Presse.

The BBC reported that the helicopter was a civilian Super Puma which was on a test flight, with pilots and engineers on board.

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Eurocopter confirmed that information, reporting that the aircraft was on a test flight before being delivered to a buyer, according to AFP.

Firefighters and climbers were sent to the scene, but had trouble reaching the crash site, according to police spokesman Benoit Gounine.

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"The accident happened in a very difficult place to access, which complicates our work," he said according to the BBC.

The crash reportedly happened near a group of hikers, injuring one of the group slightly in the ankle, said AFP.

French aviation safety authority experts were on their way to determine the cause of the crash, Eurocopter said. A preliminary investigation suggested the helicopter may have hit a cable, Reuters reported, citing police.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120725/eurocopter-crash-french-alps-kills-6