Italian rescue helicopter crashes on Monte Rosa; all four occupants survive

martim zamarski /

An Italian rescue helicopter crashed high up on Monte Rosa, near Capanna Margherita Refuge in the Swiss-Italian border. All four occupants escaped without injuries. 

The helicopter, an AgustaWestland AW139, was responding to a call for help when it crashed on Monte Rosa’s upper glacier.

The team were headed to help a mountaineer who had fallen into a crevasse on the glacier at the time of the crash.

All four occupants of the helicopter, the pilot, alpine rescue technician, flight technician and dog handler, miraculously survived the crash without any injuries. 

Paolo Pettinaroli, one of the people aboard the helicopter, told Italian media outlet Corriere Torino that it was a “miracle” all four had been unharmed. 

“We were on Monte Rosa, more or less at 4500 meters. Everything was going well, when suddenly we heard a thud . It was just a matter of a moment. We didn’t understand, I don’t know what happened. We had arrived. But the helicopter was destroyed. It was a real crash to the ground,” Pettinaroli said.

Despite their close call, the four still managed to rescue the mountaineer. 

Eventually, another helicopter from Zermatt picked up the rescuers and brought them down to the valley. The helicopter crew was then taken to the hospital for routine tests, which confirmed that they had not sustained any injuries.

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