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Rescuers killed in helicopter crash

Three policemen have died after their rescue helicopter clipped a mountainside and crashed during a mission in northern Spain, killing all on board.

The accident happened after the rescue team dropped a fourth crew member by winch to help an injured mountaineer, the regional government of Castilla y Leon said in a statement.

The crash near Polinosa, 435 kilometres (270 miles) north of Madrid, did not hit anybody on the ground.

The surviving crew member reported seeing the helicopter's rotor blades brush against the mountainside, causing the aircraft to plunge down a slope.

The regional government said four more helicopters and an ambulance were deployed to the crash site.

The dead, all members of Spain's rural Civil Guard police, were identified as the pilot, co-pilot and winch operator.

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