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Swiss tourist plane crash kills 20; earlier crash claims four


Twenty people have perished in a sightseeing plane crash in the Swiss Alps.

 

Swiss officials said the aircraft involved in the incident was a Second World War-era, Ju-52 plane that was on a sightseeing flight at the time, Deutsche Welle reported.

 

 

Built in 1939, the plane was carrying 14 Swiss nationals, three members of an Austrian family and three crew members.

 

The plane, which was operated by company JU-AIR, hit Piz Segna mountain at about 2,540 metres above sea level, but no reason for the crash has been given.

 

Swiss authorities weren’t aware of any distress call from the plane and anticipated a “relatively complex” incident investigation.

  

Although the plane seemed to have hit the ground near-vertically, a Swiss official said the age of the aircraft wouldn’t be a factor.

 

"Basically, the age of the plane has nothing to do with flight safety, as long the aircraft is properly maintained," Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board’s Daniel Knecht said, as quoted by Switzerland's Blick.

 

JU-AIR owned three vintage ‘Junkers’, and according to a company representative, the plane that crashed was maintained regularly and had no technical issues.

 

Its pilots also had over 30 years experience in both the military and civilian sector. The two remaining Ju-52s have been grounded until further notice. 

 

The JU-AIR crash came just hours after a small plane carrying a family of four crashed near Lucerne in central Switzerland.

 

Citing expert speculation, Swiss media said the current heat wave may have been a contributing factor in the France-bound plane’s demise.

 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 6 August 2018


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