Vintage plane crash in Swiss Alps kills all 20 people on board

MGN Online

It crashed into Piz Segnas, a 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) peak in the east of the country on Saturday at an altitude of 2,540 metres on the mountain's western flank, Senti said.

Mount Piz Segnas and the Atlas, back right, are pictured in Switzerland where police say a several-seater plane crashed on the Piz Segnas mountain (file photo). It was flying a group of 17 Swiss nationals and a three-member family from Austria on a sightseeing tour for the company JU-AIR.

It was the first time the airline had experienced an accident that resulted in death or injury to passengers or crew members, Waldmeier said.

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

Almost 5,000 Ju-52 planes were manufactured between 1932 and 1952.

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.

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Authorities are investigating what caused the deadly crash.

The Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, built in Germany in 1939 and now a collectors item, belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force, the ATS news agency reported. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.

An eyewitness told Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes that the "plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone". He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft".

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Operator JU-Air said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives.

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