5 die in crash of plane, helicopter over Italian glacier

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MILAN (AP) — A midair collision between a small tourist airplane and a helicopter carrying skiers to a glacier in the northwestern Italian region of Val d’Aosta killed five people Friday, Italy’s national alpine rescue corps said.

Alpine rescue corps spokesman Walter Milan said the crash happened at an altitude of about 3,000 meters (9.845 feet) over the Rutor glacier on Friday afternoon. One person was hospitalized with serious injuries. A twilight, aerial photo posted on Twitter by alpine rescuers shows the helicopter in a bank of snow with exposed rocks nearby.

The dynamics of the collision remained unclear as rescue crews worked to remove the bodies. The identities and nationalities of the victims haven’t been released.

The Rutor glacier covers nine square kilometers (3 ½ square miles) and is the second-largest in the Val d’Aosta region, which borders France. The region’s website says skiers frequently access it by helicopter during winter.

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