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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.