Alps plane crash: 20 feared dead after sightseeing flight smashes into mountain | Daily Star
05 August, 2018, 21:57
The plane crashed in a basin at 2450 metres above sea level on the west side of the Piz Segnas mountain shortly before 5pm on Saturday afternoon.
Of the 20 people on the flight, 11 were men and nine were women, police spokeswoman Anita Senti said at a news conference.
The aircraft crashed about 2540m above sea level, on the western side of a 3000m peak called Piz Segnas.
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. It was flying a group of 14 Swiss nationals and a three-member family from Austria on a sightseeing tour for the company JU-AIR.
"The plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone", the witness said, adding that the debris was scattered over "a very small area" - indicating that an explosion was unlikely to have been the cause of the crash.
Officials appeared dubious about suggestions that unusually hot weather in Switzerland, like other parts of Europe, might have been a main cause of the crash.
They were produced in Germany between 1932 and 1952, serving both as passenger and military planes. The heat makes air thinner, increasing the burden on the aircraft. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all volunteers. He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft".
JU-Air said on its website that it was "deeply saddened" and its "thoughts were with the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims".
The aircraft belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force, the ATS news agency reported.
The aircraft have three engines, one on the nose and one on each wing.
A brochure on the company's website listed the cost of the 2-day Locarno trip as 1,130 francs ($1,136), including meals and a night in a hotel. It has suspended all flights until further notice.
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