Five die in aircraft, glider crashes in Swiss Alps
Five people died when a glider and a small aircraft crashed in the Swiss Alps at the weekend, the Graubünden Cantonal Police said on Monday, 14 June 2021, adding that they were investigating whether the two accidents were linked. A small aircraft with the pilot and three other people on board, including a child, crashed on the Piz Neir Mountain in eastern Switzerland on Saturday, 12 June 2021, killing everyone onboard, regional police in the canton of Graubunden reported. The wreckage was found on Sunday by rescue workers out looking for a glider that crashed nearby on Saturday, killing the pilot.
The glider had crashed about one kilometre away from where the aircraft was found, at an altitude of 2 700 metres above the village of Bivio. Poor weather had made it impossible for rescue workers to access that crash site when they first got the call Saturday evening.
The glider took off on Saturday from Amlikon in canton Thurgau with a single pilot on board. The Robin DR400 light aircraft meanwhile left Colombier, canton Neuchâtel, on Saturday with a pilot and three passengers, a man, woman and child, the Police said.
The small light aircraft made a stop-over at Samedan in canton Graubünden before continuing at 17h20 on its route towards Locarno in Canton Ticino.
The Swiss Emergency Rescue Service Rega contacted the Police at 21h30 on Saturday to inform them that a glider had crashed above Bivio and that the pilot had died. Unfortunately, it was impossible to access the crash site located at 2 700 metres, due to poor weather.
On Sunday, rescue teams were able to travel to the site of the crashed glider. It was then that they discovered the small aircraft and dead pilot and passengers, which had crashed approximately one kilometre from the glider.
The Graubünden cantonal prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation to determine the causes of the two accidents and if they were linked. The Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB) was also investigating the incidents.
Aircraft crashes with five or more fatalities are rare in Switzerland. In 2018, a vintage Ju-52 plane crashed near Flims in canton Graubünden killing all 20 passengers.
Source: Swiss Info, News 24