Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps, all 20 on board dead

Tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps, all 20 on board dead

Eleven men and nine women were killed.

Swiss police said five copters were involved in the search and rescue operation and the airspace over the crash site was to remain closed until late Sunday.

The cause of the crash, which occurred hours after a family of four was killed when their small plane went down further west in the Alps, is under investigation.

A witness who was on the mountainside at the time of the crash told the 20 Minutes newspaper that "the plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone". There also was no indication of any "external influence", he said, indicating that authorities don't suspect foul play.

The cause of crash is now being investigated by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, in partnership with local Swiss authorities.

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.

Swiss reports said the passengers were returning from Locarno, a holiday spot in southern Switzerland on Lake Maggiore, where they had arrived early Friday.

Almost 5,000 Ju-52 planes, a product of Germany's Junkers, were manufactured between 1932 and 1952.

Each of the pilots flying it had over 30 years of experience in both the military and civilian sector.

JU-Air said on its website that it was "deeply saddened" and its "thoughts were with the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims".

The aircraft have three engines, one on the nose and one on each wing.

JU-Air runs sightseeing tours on its squadron of German-made vintage aircraft from Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich.

It said it was suspending flights until further notice.

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