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Irish man killed in Swiss helicopter crash named

The Irish man, who was among three people killed in a helicopter crash in the Swiss Alps on Tuesday, has been named as James Davis-Goff.

The 34-year-old from Co Wicklow was from a well-known family, who own the Ballinacor Estate outside of Rathdrum.

The B3 helicopter, which was carrying six people, crashed on the Petit Combin mountain as it was ferrying a guide and visitors to a drop-off point for skiers at around 9.25am (8.25am Irish time).

Local police said rescue operations included seven helicopters that attended the site.

Mr Davis-Goff’s father Robert Davis-Goff and his wife Sheelagh Davis-Goff bought the estate in 2001 and live between there and the Isle of Man.

His sister Sarah Davis-Goff is the co-founder of the publishing company Tramp Press.

James, who is also known as Jimmy Davis-Goff, worked for the United Nations as a project development officer, and had studied and worked in several countries over the past decade, including in the US as an intern for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in San Francisco.

He was also a qualified ski instructor.

Spokesman for the Valais Cantonal Police Stève Léger said Mr Goff and two others were found dead on the mountain.

“We were quickly able to take care of two injured people… and then a third injured person, who were airlifted to hospital,” he said.

“Unfortunately, three of the occupants had died on the spot,” he added.

Francois Michel counts himself lucky as he, his wife and two sons were due to take the next helicopter to the same location.

Mr Michel’s son took a video of the helicopter as it took off toward the Petit Combin peak.

“Some information gradually came to light, in particular, that the helicopter had probably fallen on this north face right up to the glacier, but we didn’t really understand the extent of the disaster,” he said.

The company running the heli-ski trip, Air-Glaciers, posted on Instagram saying they were deeply saddened by what happened and that their thoughts were with the victims and their loved ones.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of the incident and was ready to provide consular assistance.

The Swiss Safety Investigation Service has opened a safety investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), which is responsible for aviation accidents, is overseeing the criminal investigation in cooperation with Fedpol and the Valais Cantonal Police.

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