20 people killed after old-time plane crashes in Swiss Alps, authorities say
05 August, 2018, 20:23 | Author: Edward Snyder
"The police have the sad certainty that the 20 passengers perished", said a spokesperson for regional police in the canton of Grisons.
The plane, which was on a flight between Locarno in southern Switzerland, to Dübendorf, a suburb of Zurich, was found about 2,540 meters (8,333 feet) above sea level. 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.
Knecht also said the 79-year-old plane was most likely not equipped with crash-resistant data recorders that more modern aircraft have.
Knecht said officials expect the investigation of the cause to be "relatively complex, because we have to compare various indications, information and evidence and evaluate them".
The mountainous area in south-eastern Switzerland is popular with hikers and skiers and includes a glacier.
The German-built Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, dating from 1939 and nickamed "Iron Annie", was a collectors' aircraft. The operator said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives.
Swiss media have been citing plane experts' speculations that the current heat wave may have contributed to the crashes.
Junkers JU-52 planes were manufactured between the 1930s and 1950s.
The aircraft have three engines, one on the nose and one on each wing.
Ju-Air offers "adventure flights" for people wanting to experience Switzerland's landscape from vintage planes. It has suspended all flights until further notice.
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