Geneva: At least 20 people died after a vintage World War II aircraft crashed into a Swiss mountainside at the weekend, police said on Sunday. “The police have the sad certainty that the 20 people aboard perished. There were 11 men and nine women aboard, including an Austrian couple and their son,” police said.
The Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, built in Germany in 1939 and now a collectors’ item, crashed into Piz Segnas, a 10,000-foot-high peak in the east of the country. The crash occurred at 8333-foot on the mountain’s western flank, reports said.
According to reports, the flight had taken off from Ticino in the south of the nation and had been due to land at the Duebendorf military airfield in Zurich.
Airlines’ flight ops suspended
- The aircraft belongs to JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss air force. 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 company’s flight operations were suspended. JU-Air says it runs a small fleet of four Junker planes, all built in 1939, which are for hire. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.