Zurich, Aug. 5 (TNS): Twenty people have died after a World War Two vintage aircraft crashed into a mountainside in eastern Switzerland, police say.
The plane – a Junkers JU-52 HB-HOT – was carrying 17 passengers and three crew on a sightseeing flight when it took off on Saturday afternoon.
Operator JU-Air said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives. It has suspended all flights until further notice.
The cause of the crash is not known.
“Based on the situation at the crash site we can say that the aircraft smashed into ground almost vertically at relatively high speed,” said Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board.
“What we can rule out at this point is that there had been a collision before the crash, neither with another aircraft nor with some other obstacle such as a cable.”
Police say the passengers were aged between 42 and 84 years old and that the relatives of all but one of the victims had been contacted.
The aircraft was travelling between Ticino in the south of the country and Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich.
It crashed about 2,540m (8,333 ft) above sea level, on the western side of a 3,000m peak called Piz Segnas.