Seven killed in Italian Alps mid-air collision – flight instructor arrested

A French flying instructor has been arrested by Italian police following a mid-air collision between a light plane and a helicopter in the Val d’Aosta region of Italy last Friday in which seven people were killed. It is understood that a light plane which was attempting to land on the Rutor Glacier struck a helicopter which had just collected some heli-skiers, and which was lifting off the glacier at the same time.

The flight instructor who is recovering in hospital could now be facing charges of negligence and manslaughter. According to Italian aviation authorities, the light aircraft had not communicated a flight plan to Italian air traffic control and had crossed into Italian territory.

Italian police have confirmed seven people were killed in the mid-air collision, including four Germans. The other victims were from Italy, France and Belgium. The other survivor of the crash is of German nationality and is being treated in the same hospital as the flight instructor. A local emergency services director, Luca Cavoretto, commented that: “Miraculously the two survivors are conscious and in stable condition, though with multiple traumas and contusions. They are able to collaborate, perhaps more in the coming days, as right now their memories are very confused.”

“We can’t reveal the names because some of the families still don’t know,” one official at the joint office of Alpine rescue and police in Entreves, in the Aosta Valley, told Reuters.

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