Small plane crashes in Switzerland, several people killed

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Twenty people have died after a World War II vintage aircraft crashed into a mountainside in eastern Switzerland, police say.

The Junkers Ju-52 plane went down on Saturday on the Piz Segnas mountain above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, striking the mountain's western flank about 2,540 metres (8,330 feet) above sea level.

There were 11 men and nine women aboard, including an Austrian couple and their son, she said.

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

Daniel Knech of the Swiss safety investigation service SESE said the crew did not have time to send out a distress signal.

Ju-Air offers "adventure flights" for people wanting to experience Switzerland's landscape from vintage planes.

But Seventeen passengers, two pilots, and a flight attendant lost their lives in the accident, said police on August 5, according to Swiss news website Blick.

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Officials said Sunday the vintage aircraft appeared to hit the ground near-vertically and at a high speed.

Officials can essentially rule out a collision with another aircraft or hitting an obstacle such as a wire, and there's no indication of foul play or that the aircraft lost parts or broke up before the crash, he added.

The company's chief executive Kurt Waldmeier told the AFP news agency the plane had undergone a maintenance inspection in July.

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

Ju-Air said one of its aircraft had been involved in the accident on Saturday.

The incident was the worst in Switzerland for several years, but just one of three plane crashes in the country in the space of eight days.

Earlier on Saturday, a small plane carrying a family of four, including two young children, crashed near the town of Hergiswil, some 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of Lucerne in central Switzerland. No survivors have been found.

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