Four Killed in French Alps Crash

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Annecy, France (AP) -- A helicopter flew into a cable and crashed Tuesday at a ski slope in the French Alps, killing all four people on board, officials said.

The privately owned helicopter had just rescued a skier at the Flaine ski resort, in the eastern Haute-Savoie region.

It crashed near one of the resort's mountaintop restaurants, officials and observers said.

The cable was part of a system to prevent avalanches on the ski slopes.

``I was with my wife and two children, eating in the restaurant, when suddenly, we heard an enormous noise behind us,'' a witness, Fabrice Abgrall, told France-Inter radio. He said the helicopter crashed 25 to 30 yards from the restaurant.

Abgrall told France-Inter the helicopter narrowly missed crashing into three gas cylinders that supply the restaurant, which was crowded with patrons.

The victims included a skier, a ski patrol member, the pilot and a mechanic. Their identities were not immediately known. No other injuries were reported.

Flaine is a large resort, often packed with skiers during holidays.

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