20 killed when tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps

A Sunday view of the plane crash site in the Swiss Alps. (FOX NEWS Photo)

BERLIN (FOX NEWS) — All 20 people on board an old-time propeller plane were killed Saturday after the aircraft crashed in the Swiss Alps, authorities told Swiss media on Sunday.

Police in southeastern Graubuenden canton said the JU-Air’s JU-52 HB-HOT aircraft crashed on the Piz Segnas mountain above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, a place popular with hikers and also contains a glacier. The plane holds 17 passengers, two pilots and a flight attendant.

“The JU-Air team is deeply saddened and is thinking of the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims,” JU-Air wrote in a statement on its Web site Sunday.

Eleven men, nine women were killed, officials told Swiss news website 20min.ch. Most of the people killed were from Switzerland, along with an Austrian couple and their son.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2005 photo Mount Piz Segnas, left, and the Tschingel Horn mountains, right, with the Martin's Hole near Elm in the canton of Glarus, are pictured in Switzerland. Police in southeastern Graubuenden canton (state) said a several-seater plane crashed Saturday 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. There was no immediate word on casualties. (Gaetan Bally/Keystone via AP, file)

Eleven men and nine women were among the people killed on the plane.  (AP)

A witness told Reuters the plane wreckage was in a basin. Officials said Sunday the vintage aircraft appeared to hit the ground near-vertically and at a high speed.

Authorities are investigating what caused the deadly crash. Officials said Sunday they weren’t aware of any distress call made from the plane, adding that the investigation into the crash is expected to be “relatively complex” — though there’s no indication of foul play.

JU-52 HB-HOT aircraft does not have a crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders because it is an older model.

Initial investigation showed the plane did not lose any parts or break up before it crashed in the Swiss Alps. Collision with another aircraft and hitting an obstacle have been ruled out as a potential cause.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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