Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Switzerland crash: 20 dead in WW2 plane crash

Polizei Graubünden Polizei Graubünden
Glenn Montgomery | 05 August, 2018, 20:25

Daniel Knecht, of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board, said the plane appears to have hit the ground near-vertically and at high speed in the crash.

"The police have the sad certainty that the 20 passengers perished", said a spokesperson for regional police in the canton of Grisons.

Mount Piz Segnas and the Atlas, back right, are pictured in Switzerland where police say a several-seater plane crashed on the Piz Segnas mountain (file photo).

Among those killed were 17 people from Switzerland and three people from an Austrian family, including a couple and their son.

The vintage aircraft crashed into the Piz Segnas mountain in the Flims resort on Saturday.

The mountainous area in southeastern Switzerland is popular with hikers and skiers and includes a glacier.

Authorities are investigating what caused the deadly crash.

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

The Ju-52 aircraft, made by Germany's Junkers, were made between 1932 and 1952.

The company's flight operations were suspended, it said.

Swiss media have been citing plane experts' speculations that the current heat wave may have contributed to the crashes.

The two pilots, who were 62 and 63-years-old, both had extensive experience with the Ju-52 and had long worked as airline and Swiss air force pilots, Waldmeier said.

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

It said it was suspending flights until further notice.

Based out of Duebendorf in canton Zurich, JU-AIR offers sightseeing and adventure flights around the Alps.

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