A small plane carrying parachutists crashed in northern Sweden soon after takeoff on Sunday and all nine people on board were killed, officials said.
The accident took place a little after 2pm local time on Storsandskar island. Swedish media quoted witnesses reporting that some of the parachutists were seen trying to jump off the plane just before the crash.
Swedish airport authority Swedavia said the crashed aircraft was a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, an Australian-made single-engine plane popular with parachutists, that took off from Umea airport. The cause of the crash was not yet known.
“I can confirm that all those aboard the plane have died,” said Vasterbotten municipality spokeswoman Gabriella Bandling.
One witness told Swedish broadcaster SVT she heard a loud noise from above before she saw the plane going straight down and crashing into the island.
The Swedish prime minister, Stefan Lofven, expressed “great sadness” over the accident in a statement to Swedish news agency TT. He sent condolences to the families of the victims and said the government would stay in close touch with officials probing the crash “as it is important to investigate the cause”.
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