Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Plane crash in Switzerland killed all 20 people on board

Plane crash in Switzerland killed all 20 people on board

A general view of the accident site of a Junkers Ju-52 airplane of the local airline JU-AIR, which crashed at 2,450 meters (8,038 feet) above sea level near the mountain resort of Flims, Switzerland August 5, 2018.

It left Locarno Air Base around 16h CET and was heading for the suburbs of Zurich when it crashed at an altitude of 2,540 metres.

"The police have the sad certainty that the 20 people aboard perished", police spokeswoman Anita Senti told a news conference.

The cause of crash is now being investigated by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, in partnership with local Swiss authorities.

Police said that the aircraft had burned and officials haven't yet been able to ascertain the exact number and identity of those who died.

The parents and two children crashed roughly 30 minutes after their plane took off from an airfield in Kägiswil, headed towards France, Swiss police said.

Officials said 11 men and nine women were killed, most from Switzerland but also a couple and their son from Austria.

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Mr Knecht said the vintage plane presumably did not have the crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders that more modern aircraft have.

The mountainous area in south-eastern Switzerland is popular with hikers and skiers and includes a glacier.

"What we can rule out at this point is that there had been a collision before the crash, neither with another aircraft nor with some other obstacle such as a cable".

The company JU-AIR has three of the vintage Juncker propeller aircraft, which are known affectionately in German as "Auntie Ju" planes. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.

The company did not offer any further information.

Operator JU-Air said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives.

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