By AFP | AFP –
All six people on board a helicopter owned by the chopper manufacturer Eurocopter died Wednesday when the aircraft plunged into a mountain in southeastern France, sources said.
The bodies were recovered from near the village of La-Palud-sur-Verdon, a source close to the crash inquiry said. Local officials had said earlier that the helicopter was an army aircraft.
A nearby restaurant owner told AFP that “customers having lunch on the terrace started yelling — there was an explosion and lots of black smoke”.
A Eurocopter spokesman said the six men on board the Cougar helicopter, a version of the civilian Super Puma AS 532 AL aircraft designed for military use, were test pilots and engineers working for the group and that the aircraft was on a test flight before being delivered to a buyer.
Eurocopter’s security development director Gilles Bruniaux described the men as “hardened professionals”.
The helicopter came down at around