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Swedish investigators begin probe into plane crash tragedy that killed nine people

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Swedish investigators begin probe into plane crash tragedy that killed nine people
Rescue workers bringing parts of the wreck to the mainland. Photo: Samuel Pettersson/TT
08:33 CEST+02:00
What events led up to a crash which saw a small aircraft plunge nose-first into the ground in northern Sweden, killing all nine people on board? It may take a year to investigate the tragedy.

The plane, a GippsAero GA8 Airvan carrying people for a parachute jump, took off from Umeå airport just after 1.30pm on Sunday and sent out an alarm at 2.12pm, shortly before it crashed.

The wreckage was found on Storsandskär island, just two kilometres from the airport, in the delta of the Umeå river on Sunday, and an official investigation has been launched by Swedish authorities.


Rescue workers going between the mainland and Storsandskär island. Photo: Samuel Pettersson/TT

Because the plane did not carry a black box, investigators will have to rely on witness statements, an examination of the wreck, and onboard phones and tablets that registered height and position.

"But they don't record what the pilot did or in what state the engine was," Peter Swaffer, an official at the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority, told the TT news agency.

Similar inquiries usually take up to 12 months in Sweden. The aircraft – a single-engine plane measuring almost nine metres from nose to tail – was made in Australia, by a company part of the Mahindra Group.

The Mahindra Group said it would cooperate fully with the inquiry.


Police cordoned off the crash scene on Sunday. Photo: Samuel Pettersson/TT

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Amateur footage posted online by the Aftonbladet tabloid showed the aircraft plunging from the sky in a vertical line. Some witnesses reported seeing parachutists trying to jump off the plane just before.

One pilot and eight parachute jumpers died in the crash. They were all Swedish citizens and lived in northern Sweden, regional police confirmed on Sunday. One person had dual citizenship.

 
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