A rescue helicopter crashed in a mountainous region of central Italy on Tuesday, killing all six people on board, according to published reports.
Investigators “found the bodies of the six deceased in the snow,” a police spokesman told the AFP news agency.The chopper was transporting an injured skier to a hospital in L’Aquila, the capital of the Abruzzo province, when it sent out an emergency signal and then plunged from the sky near the Campo Felice ski resort, the BBC reported.
Witnesses reported hearing a massive explosion after the helicopter went down.
Authorities said they were in the preliminary stages of probing the cause of the crash.
“The area where it came down is hard to access at the best of times, and thick fog is making it even more difficult. Several teams are trying to get there,” a police spokesman told the BBC.
Last Tuesday, an avalanche hit another ski resort on the other side of the mountains, killing at least 29.
The avalanche was triggered by a powerful earthquake, burying the victims under piles of snowfall and rubble. Fifteen people have been declared dead, and 14 more are still missing.