DISASTER: The unit of the gendarmerie of Tarbes was on a mission in the mountains with a pilot …
A helicopter of the gendarmerie crashed Friday in the Hautes-Pyrénées, killing four people, the four policemen aboard. The accident occurred shortly before noon during a training mission at altitude in Cauterets, according to reports from the gendarmerie.
An open crisis unit
The unit of the gendarmerie of Tarbes was on a mission in the mountains with a pilot, co-pilot and two rescuers from the mountain platoon of Pierrefitte-Nestalas when they hit a wall for a reason that has not been determined, the source said.
Two of the victims served in the Air Detachment of the gendarmerie of Tarbes, the other two were part of the mountain gendarme platoon based at Pierrefitte-Nestalas. A crisis unit was opened in the prefecture of the Hautes-Pyrénées.
“Condolences to the families”
President Francois Hollande expressed his “deep emotion after this tragic accident” and expressed its “condolences to the families and relatives of the victims.” Manuel Valls and Eric Ciotti also expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Émotion et tristesse en apprenant le crash d’un hélicoptère de la @Gendarmerie. Mes pensées vont aux victimes et leurs familles.
— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) May 20, 2016
Accident d’hélicoptère dans les Hautes-Pyrénées. Immense tristesse. Pensées émues pour les familles et collègues des gendarmes décédés.
— Manuel Valls (@manuelvalls) May 20, 2016
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve , accompanied by the Director General of the Gendarmerie, Denis Favier, will visit this Friday night on the scene of the accident to support colleagues from deceased policemen.
Je serai ce soir aux côtés des camarades des quatre gendarmes décédés dans un tragique accident d’hélicoptère. pic.twitter.com/Z9wPFZrkDR
— Bernard Cazeneuve (@BCazeneuve) May 20, 2016
It seems that the weather was mild during the accident. Investigations are underway to determine the causes. “For now, I have not decided to open a criminal investigation,” told AFP the prosecutor in Tarbes, Eric Serfass, en route to the crash site.