A tourist plane and a helicopter have collided over the Rutor glacier in the La Thuile, Aosta Valley in the northwest of Italy
By Elaine McCahill Assistant News Editor
Five people have died and two others are injured after a helicopter and a tourist plane collided in the skies above the Rutor glacier in north western Italy.
The tragic crash happened in the Valle d’Aosta near the ski resort La Thuile.
It was immediately reported to the Aosta Valley rescue and the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue service immediately sent a team to the site.
Rescue officials confirmed five people have died and two others were wounded following the crash.
Those who are wounded are of French and Swiss nationality while two others are believed to be missing.
Local reports say six people were on board the helicopter while there were three people on the tourist plane which had come from Megève.
Megève is a ski resort village in the Alps in the south east of France.
The Alpine Rescue Service said a Civil Protection helicopter with technicians on board and a second chopper with a doctor are on their way to the accident site.
A team specialised in cutting sheet metal are also at the scene.
Two more helicopters are also ready and prepared to be sent to the site.
It is not known how many people were on board.
The maximum emergency procedure was activated with three operating theaters and six intensive care units ready to receive patients.
A shock room is also in place and the hospital team are awaiting updates.
The huge Rutor glacier lies on the slopes of the Rutor-Léchaud Group which lies between the Mont Blanc and the Vanoise massif mountain range.