Twenty dead in WWII vintage plane crash in Switzerland

Hannah Rogers
August 5, 2018

Daniel Knecht, of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board, said the plane appears to have hit the ground near-vertically and at high speed in the crash.

The photo provided by Police Graubuenden shows the wreckage of the old-time propeller plane Ju 52 after it went down went down Saturday Aug, 4 2018 on the Piz Segnas mountain above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, striking the mountain's western flank about 2,540 meters (8,330 feet) above sea level.

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.

The vintage aircraft crashed into the Piz Segnas mountain in the Flims resort on Saturday.

All 17 passengers and three crew members died in the crash, which happened around 5 p.m. local time.

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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.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The heat makes air thinner, increasing the burden on the aircraft.

The German-built Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, dating from 1939 and nickamed "Iron Annie", was a collectors' aircraft.

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.

The company's flight operations were suspended, it said. The operator said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives. Waldmeier said the pilots fly by sight along pre-planned routes.

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