20 killed when tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps
20 killed when tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps
Vintage plane carrying 19 tourists crashes in Switzerland no survivors 20 dead in crash of Swiss tourist plane
05 August, 2018, 21:58
The Junkers Ju-52 plane went down on Saturday on the Piz Segnas mountain above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, striking the mountain's western flank about 2,540 metres (8,330 feet) above sea level.
Officials said Sunday they weren't aware of any distress call made from the plane, adding that the investigation into the crash is expected to be "relatively complex" - though there's no indication of foul play.
Police said those killed were couples from the Swiss cantons of Zurich, Thurgau, Lucerne, Schwyz, Zug and Vaud, along with a three-member family from Austria and three crew members from Thurgau and Zurich.
A witness who was on the mountainside at the time of the crash told the 20 Minutes newspaper that "the plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone".
The crash occurred above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, an area popular with hikers and skiers. Knecht said authorities would probably need "a few days" to complete recovery work. Knecht said that while heat can affect an aircraft's performance, experienced pilots could deal with that.
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"Older planes, if they are correctly maintained, can be operated safely", he said.
JU-Air says it runs a small fleet of four Junker planes, all built in 1939, which are for hire. "The JU-Air team is deeply saddened and thinks of the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims", the company said in a statement on its website.
Each of the pilots flying it had over 30 years of experience in both the military and civilian sector.
"We can not yet explain what led to the tragic accident on Piz Segnas", he said. JU-AIR also suspended flights with the remaining two Ju-52s until further notice.
The aircraft belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force, the ATS news agency reported.
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