Monday, 10 December, 2018

20 killed in World War II plane crash in Switzerland

The plane crashed in a forest near Hergiswil Image The plane crashed in a forest near Hergiswil
Gerardo Duncan | 05 August, 2018, 20:24

All 20 people on board an old-time propeller plane were killed Saturday after the aircraft crashed in the Swiss Alps, authorities told Swiss media on Sunday.

Authorities have provided few details about those on board JU-Air's plane which crashed on the west side of the Piz Segnas Mountain in the canton of Graubuenden on Saturday.

Among those killed were 17 people from Switzerland and a three-person family from Austria, police said.

The aircraft was travelling between Ticino in the south of the country and Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich.

Swiss officials said they are not aware of any distress call from the plane.

He also said there is no indication of foul play or that the aircraft lost parts or broke up before the crash.

Andreas Tobler, Grisons canton chief of police said there was "no longer any hope of finding anyone alive".

As this kind of collectors' aircraft is not equipped with "black box" flight data and voice recorders, investigators must rely on eyewitness accounts and analysis of debris.

"The JU-Air team is deeply saddened and is thinking of the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims", JU-Air said on its website on Sunday.

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

The plane that crashed had logged 10,187 hours of flying time, he said, adding that it underwent maintenance after every 35 hours of flight - most recently at the end of July.

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.

On its website, JU-Air mentions one past accident, in 1987, at the Koblenz airport in Germany in which no one was hurt.

A plane crashed on the Piz Segnas mountain. No survivors have been found.

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