Aerial collision over Austria kills 8

Monday, March 5, 2007

An aerial collision near Zell am See, Austria has killed 8 people, 5 Swiss citizens, 1 French, 1 German and 1 Austrian.

The collision occurred Monday afternoon between a Super Puma helicopter belonging to Helog S.A, based in Küssnacht (Switzerland), and a private Diamond DA20 "Katana" light aircraft which had taken off from the aerodrome at Zell am See.

All 7 of the passengers and crew from the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene, as was the pilot of the light aircraft, which had no passengers on board.

The debris from the accident spread over a 20 metre radius and bystanders near to the incident reported seeing a "huge ball of fire in the sky".

The reason for the accident is presently unclear as both craft have been confirmed as passing pre-flight testing at their respective take-off locations. Furthermore, Zell am See tower radioed the helicopter that a plane was taking off, to which the helicopter replied positively. This conversation should have been heard over radio by the pilot of the plane.

The site of the accident is now being guarded by police, pending the arrival of an investigation team and a delegate of the state attorney.


Further information sourced from Teletext service of TV5 France