TOULOUSE: A French police helicopter crashed in the mountains of southwestern France on Friday, killing the four officers on board, the local government prefecture said.
The helicopter was participating in a training operation in the mountains not far from the Spanish border when it went down, the Interior Ministry said separately in a statement.
The helicopter crashed into a cliff face in the area around Cauterets in the Hautes-Pyrenees region, killing all four people aboard, the force said.
The cause of the accident remains to be identified, it added. The prosecutors office said they were holding off on announcing a full investigation until more was known.
After some initial confusion about the number of casualties, the office of President Francois Hollande confirmed that the pilot, co-pilot and two rescue specialists on board were all killed.
An emergency response team has found the debris in a hard-to-access area of the mountain, the local prefecture said.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, due at the scene later Friday, expressed his “infinite sadness” over the crash.