Helicopter Crash Kills Three on Ground

 - January 9, 2007, 11:47 AM

Three people were killed and one seriously injured on the ground when an Aerospatiale Alouette II crashed on Sunday afternoon in the Camargue region in southeast France. The pilot reportedly suffered two broken vertebrae but the three passengers escaped injury. The privately owned helicopter was attempting to take off near a restaurant where the occupants had had lunch. Apparently, the victims on the ground were relatively close to the helicopter watching it depart, as a local state representative blamed “irresponsibility” by the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly did not ensure safety around the landing and takeoff area. The Alouette II, a design dating back to the mid-1950s, was produced until 1975. It is powered by a single Turbomeca Artouste turboshaft.