Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Twenty people killed in WWII vintage plane crash

Twenty people killed in WWII vintage plane crash

Twenty people died after a vintage World War II aircraft crashed into a Swiss mountainside, police said on Sunday (Aug 5).

The airspace above the crash site was closed by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation and access to popular hiking trails in the surrounding area was blocked.

Police spokeswoman Anita Senti told reporters that it was with "sad certainty" that "the 20 people aboard perished".

Ju-Air's Ju-52 planes are former Swiss military aircraft, built in 1939, that were retired by the air force in 1981.

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Eleven men and nine women were among the people killed on the plane.

Police said all onboard were killed in the crash. Most were from Switzerland but also a couple and their son from Austria.

Daniel Knech of the Swiss safety investigation service SESE said the crew did not have time to send out a distress signal.

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

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"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".

He said that officials expect the investigation of the cause to be "relatively complex".

The plane had been returning from Locarno near Switzerland's southern border.

According to JU-AIR, a Ju-52 airplane, which seats 17 passengers along with two pilots, had crashed.

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Ju-Air, which offers flights from Junkers Ju-52 planes, said one of its vehicles was involved in the incident.

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