Five killed as French military helicopters collide

The crash occurred between the small towns of Cabasse and Carces about 50km northwest of Saint-Tropez

French gendarmes and firefighters  work at the site of an accident near Carces lake, about 50 kilometres northwest of the resort of Saint-Tropez, on February 2nd, 2018, after two army helicopters crashed into each other. Photograph: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

French gendarmes and firefighters work at the site of an accident near Carces lake, about 50 kilometres northwest of the resort of Saint-Tropez, on February 2nd, 2018, after two army helicopters crashed into each other. Photograph: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

 

Two French military training helicopters have crashed after colliding in a wooded area of Provence, killing five people on board, police said.

The crash occurred between the small towns of Cabasse and Carces, in the picturesque Var region, about 50km northwest of Saint-Tropez.

Roads were cordoned off throughout a broad zone around the crash site, and some three dozen police and military officials were dispatched to the scene.

A gendarme said three people aboard one helicopter were killed and two people on the other.

Officials gave conflicting information about how many people were aboard altogether and whether anyone had survived the crash.

Debris scattered across two large zones, but the area is uninhabited and no-one on the ground was hurt, said the gendarme.

French defence minister Florence Parly is expected to travel to the region later Friday.

A spokeswoman for the French army said the helicopters came from the army’s light aviation school based in nearby Le-Cannet-des-Maures. The school includes a special joint training programme with German military pilots, and its pilots are sometimes used for firefighting operations in the area. - PA