Two men, a Russian and a Frenchman, were killed on Friday when a helicopter crashed and burst into flames in Villefranche-sur-Mer, southeastern France, the fire service and regional authorities said.
The helicopter had departed from Lausanne, Switzerland, bound for Monaco.
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The accident occurred at around 2pm and, as a spokesman for the Alpes-Maritimes region said, two bodies were found.
The victims are the French pilot who worked for Monaco’s private company Monacair and a passenger, a Russian-born businessman with a Maltese passport. The helicopter was supposed to carry a second passenger, but canceled his trip at the last minute.
According to the company, the pilot, aged around 30, had trained in this area and knew it very well, while the helicopter was “of the latest generation”.
Rescue services said more than 50 firefighters were deployed to the crash site and that there was no danger of the fire spreading.
It should be noted that flying conditions were normal at noon on Friday, with no significant winds or reduced visibility.
The company said that, at this stage of the investigation, “no statement can be made by the company regarding the circumstances of the accident.”
Monacair says it is in “constant contact with the authorities to determine the causes of this accident”.
The investigation has been entrusted to the police by the public prosecutor.
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