Swiss police confirm 20 dead in WWII vintage plane crash

Alps plane crash: 20 feared dead after sightseeing flight smashes into mountain | Daily Star

A vintage plane crashed in the Swiss Alps on Saturday, killing all 20 people on board, police said.

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. Most of the victims were Swiss but they also included a couple and their son from Austria.

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

Officials said Sunday they weren't aware of any distress call made from the plane, adding that the investigation into the crash is expected to be "relatively complex" - though there's no indication of foul play.

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

Nidwalden canton (state) police said that the aircraft went down near the town of Hergiswil today morning.

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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.

Ju-Air, a company which offers observation tours in the retro planes, said on Saturday that one of its aircraft was involved in an accident.

"Based on the situation at the crash site we can say that the aircraft smashed into the ground nearly vertically at relatively high speed", said Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board.

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

The plane was operated by JU-Air, an association set-up to keep the planes flying after they were taken out of service by the Swiss Air Force in 1981. No survivors have been found in that incident.

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