Four gendarmes killed in military police helicopter crash in France

A military police helicopter crashed in south-western France on Friday, killing four gendarmes on board, local authorities and the national military police said.

The accident occurred during an exercise, the National Gendarmerie, a military police unit, said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that the training had taken place at Vignemale, one of the highest peaks in the French Pyrenees along the border with Spain.

During the training, the helicopter that they were on board crashed, Cazeneuve said. He added that the circumstances of the crash remain unclear.

Two of the gendarmes were part of the aerial division, and two were part of the mountain division.

A crisis cell was set up following the crash, local authorities for the mountainous Hautes-Pyrenees region said on their Twitter account. Cazeneuve said he would travel to the area Friday evening.

"I express my emotion after this tragic accident. I address my condolences to the families and those close to the victims, and testify to the solidarity of the nation in these painful circumstances," President Francois Hollande said in a statement.

Last update: Fri, 20/05/2016 - 16:42

More from Europe

Poll: 'no' vote at 54 per cent in Italian constitutional referendum

Support for a 'no' vote on Italy's upcoming constitutional referendum has taken a 54-46 per cent lead, according to...

German minister hopeful shunned after "liking" right-wing party

A German prosecutor tapped for a cabinet position in an east German state is out of the running after "liking" the...

EU parliament chief raises hopes of salvaging Canada trade deal

An embattled trade EU-Canada trade deal should be signed as planned next week, European Parliament President Martin...

Police suspect tear gas in London City airport "chemical incident"

Police said they suspected CS gas could have caused a "chemical incident" that led to a three-hour evacuation of ...

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...