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Old-time plane crashes in Swiss Alps, killing 20 on board

05 August, 2018, 21:57 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Alps plane crash: 20 feared dead after sightseeing flight smashes into mountain | Daily Star

Eleven men and nine women between the ages of 42 and 84 were killed.

The German-built Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, dating from 1939 and nicknamed "Iron Annie", was a collectors' aircraft.

Swiss police said five copters were involved in the search and rescue operation and the airspace over the crash site was to remain closed until late Sunday. They also expect the investigation into the cause of the crash to be "relatively complex".

Officials said Sunday the vintage aircraft appeared to hit the ground near-vertically and at a high speed.

Just hours before the Ju-52 crash, a family of four was killed when their small plane went down in the Alps, but it was located further west.

Officials can essentially rule out a collision with another aircraft or hitting an obstacle such as a wire, and there's no indication of foul play or that the aircraft lost parts or broke up before the crash, he added.

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Police in southeastern Graubuenden canton (state) said a several-seater plane crashed Saturday on the Piz Segnas mountain striking the mountain's western flank about 2,540 meters above sea level.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.

The passengers were returning to Zurich from a two-day excursion in Locarno near Switzerland's southern border. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers. Knecht said that while heat can affect an aircraft's performance, experienced pilots could deal with that.

But Seventeen passengers, two pilots, and a flight attendant lost their lives in the accident, said police on August 5, according to Swiss news website Blick.

"We can not yet explain what led to the tragic accident on Piz Segnas", he said.

The aircraft belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force, the ATS news agency reported. It has suspended all flights until further notice.

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