20 killed in plane crash in Swiss Alps

According to JU-AIR a Ju-52 airplane which seats 17 passengers along with two pilots had crashed

According to JU-AIR a Ju-52 airplane which seats 17 passengers along with two pilots had crashed

A vintage Second World War transport aircraft flying tourists across the Alps has crashed into a Swiss mountainside, killing all 20 people on board.

"The police have the sad certainty that the 20 passengers perished", said a spokesperson for regional police in the canton of Grisons.

The bodies of the victims, 17 from Switzerland and three from Austria - believed to be an Austrian couple and their son - are still being recovered.

The Junker Ju-52 aircraft smashed into a mountainside near the resort of Flims in the east of the country on Saturday. No reason for the crash has so far been given.

Police said they are not aware of any distress call from the aircraft before it crashed.

A plane crashed on the Piz Segnas mountain.

"Basically, the age of the plane has nothing to do with flight safety, as long the aircraft is properly maintained", Knecht was quoted by Switzerland's Blick.ch as saying.

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The plane was operated by Ju-Air, a Swiss company that offers tours with vintage former Swiss military aircraft.

Junkers JU-52 planes were manufactured between the 1930s and 1950s.

A JU-AIR representative stated that the destroyed plane was maintained regularly and had no technical issues. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all volunteers.

The company "still can not explain" the incident, they said, pledging to support the official investigation.

The company, which operates two other Ju-52s, suspended flights until further notice after the crash.

In another crash over the weekend, a family of four including two young children were killed when a small plane came down in central Switzerland.

Swiss media have been citing plane experts' speculations that the current heat wave may have contributed to the crashes. Knecht said that while heat can affect an aircraft's performance, experienced pilots could deal with that.

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