Old-time plane crashes in Swiss Alps, killing 20 on board

Old-time plane crashes in Swiss Alps, killing 20 on board

The Junker plane, which can carry up to 17 passengers and three crew, crashed into the Piz Segnas mountain in the east of the country on Saturday, at an altitude of around 2,500 metres.

Police said Sunday they have now determined that all 20 people on board the plane, including its three crew members, died.

Initial investigation showed the plane did not lose any parts or break up before it crashed in the Swiss Alps.

The area, which includes a glacier, is popular with hikers. Most of the people killed were from Switzerland, along with an Austrian couple and their son.

Officials said Sunday the vintage aircraft appeared to hit the ground near-vertically and at a high speed.

The wreckage was discovered engulfed in flames, and the cause of the crash is now being investigated by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, in cooperation with local Swiss authorities.

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

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Officials can essentially rule out a collision with another aircraft or an obstacle such as a wire, Knecht said.

The veteran plane is operated by Ju-Air, a company based in Duebendorf, near Zurich, that offers panoramic flights with old-time Junker Ju-52 planes.

Chief executive and co-founder Kurt Waldmeier said the planes "are flown exclusively by very experienced professional pilots, and strictly checked and maintained by our own technicians".

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

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

It said it was suspending flights until further notice.

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