Alps plane crash: 20 feared dead after sightseeing flight smashes into mountain

The plane crashed in a forest near Hergiswil

Swiss police say all 20 people aboard an old-time propeller plane were killed when the aircraft crashed into a mountainside in southeast Switzerland.

The JU-52 aircraft, built in Germany in 1939, smashed into the western slopes of Piz Segnas mountain, 75 kilometres south-east of Zurich.

Earlier on Saturday, a small plane carrying two parents and their two children crashed in the nearby canton of Nidwalden.

Among those killed were 17 people from Switzerland and three people from an Austrian family, including a couple and their son.

"One can ascertain that the aircraft hit the ground almost vertically at high speed", Daniel Knecht, who heads the aviation division of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board, said.

Mourinho frustrated by Martial's absence with Matic to miss start of season
United is without a number of players after they were given extended breaks following the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation .

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.

The airspace above the crash site was closed by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation and access to popular hiking trails in the surrounding area was blocked. Knecht said authorities would probably need "a few days" to complete recovery work.

The cause of the crash is not known. The heat makes air thinner, increasing the burden on the aircraft.

"Older planes, if they are correctly maintained, can be operated safely", he said.

Chief executive and co-founder Kurt Waldmeier said the planes "are flown exclusively by very experienced professional pilots, and strictly checked and maintained by our own technicians". It has suspended all flights until further notice.

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