A World War II vintage aircraft has reportedly crashed into the Alps mountain in Switzerland on Saturday, August 4, killing everyone on board.
The 1939 JU-52 HB-HOT aircraft, nicknamed ‘Iron Annie’, went down into the side of Alps called Piz Segnas after taking off from a resort in Locarno and was travelling to JU-Air’s base in Dubendorf in Zurich.
All 20 people including passengers and crew members were killed in the incident. Among the fatalities were 11 men and 9 women, aged between 42 and 84, including the two pilots and a flight attendant.
Initial report said the accident occurred 50 minutes after the aircraft took off and there were reportedly no emergency calls made before it crashed.
Unlike modern aircrafts, the JU-52 did not have crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders.
Daniel Knecht from the Swiss safety investigation agency said the hot weather may have played a role in the mishap.
“High temperatures can affect the performance of an aircraft,” said Knecht during a press conference. “The aircraft has less power at the same altitude, you can feel it at the start or in a curve.”
Several emergency choppers were deployed to the crash site for the search operation.
Kurt Waldmeier, the chief of the airline, expressed his grief and condolences to the family of the victims.
“Yesterday was the worst day in the 36-year history of JU-Air. We have all suffered a very great loss,” said Waldmeier.
Investigation is still in progress.