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Several feared dead as two planes crash hours apart in Swiss Alps
August 5, 2018, 10:29 am

Two light aircraft crashed in separate accidents in Switzerland on Saturday, 4 August, police said, killing 23 people in toto. In the first incident a tourist plane carrying a couple and two young children crashed in a forest in the Nidwald canton, in central Switzerland, and immediately burst into flames.

Authorities provided few details about the second crash but local airline JU-AIR said one of its Ju-52 airplanes, which seats 17 passengers along with two pilots, had crashed. It was not clear how many people were on the plane.

"We have the sad duty to announce that one of our Ju-52 aircraft had an accident today," the airline said on its website. "At the moment, no further information is available."

Police said on Twitter that five helicopters and a large rescue mission were deployed to the scene of the accident, which occurred on the west side of the Piz Segnas mountain in the canton of Graubuenden.

The airspace above the crash site, which is 2,450 metres (8,038 feet) above sea level, was closed by the country"s Federal Office for Civil Aviation.

Local newspaper Blick reported that all passengers aboard the plane were killed.

Neither police nor the airline could immediately be reached on Saturday night but police said on Twitter that further information would be provided on Sunday morning.

Based out of Duebendorf in canton Zurich, JU-AIR offers sightseeing, charter and adventure flights with its three midcentury Junkers Ju-52 aircraft, known affectionately in German as "Auntie Ju" planes.

Earlier on Saturday, a small plane crashed in the Rengg mountain pass area in the canton of Nidwalden, killing two parents and their two children. Both crashes were under investigation.

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