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September 26, 2018

At least 20 killed after WW2 plane crashes in Switzerland

General view shows the accident site of a Junkers Ju-52 airplane of the local airline JU-AIR in 2,450 meters (8,038 feet) above sea level near the mountain resort of Flims, Switzerland August 5, 2018. /REUTERS
General view shows the accident site of a Junkers Ju-52 airplane of the local airline JU-AIR in 2,450 meters (8,038 feet) above sea level near the mountain resort of Flims, Switzerland August 5, 2018. /REUTERS

Twenty people have died after a World War Two vintage aircraft crashed into a Swiss mountainside, 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 yet known.

In a news conference on Sunday, the police said that the passengers were aged between 42 and 84 years old and that the relatives of all but one of the victims had been contacted.

An eyewitness told Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes that the "plane turned 180 degrees to the south and fell to the ground like a stone".

The aircraft came down on a mountainside about 2,540m (8,333 ft) above sea level, police say.

JU-Air runs sightseeing tours on its squadron of German-made vintage aircraft.

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

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