8 Die in Austria Midair Collision

A helicopter and a small plane collided in the air and crashed near a ski slope in Austria on Monday, killing all eight people aboard the two aircraft, police said.

The late-morning collision occurred near Zell am See, in Salzburg province, police said. Wreckage was scattered in a wooded area, according to Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Seven victims - five Swiss nationals, a German and a French citizen - were in the helicopter, which belonged to a Swiss company and was flying from Kaprun, Austria, to Germany, police said.

The plane's pilot, an Austrian, also died, police said. Eyewitnesses interviewed by Austrian television said the plane exploded near the ski slope.

There were no reports of anyone on the ground being injured.

About three minutes before the collision, the helicopter pilot reported to an airfield in Zell am See that he saw the plane, which had taken off from the airfield a minute earlier, police said.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the accident.

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