Eight sky divers and the pilot were killed when a small propeller plane crashed in Sweden Thursday evening shortly after taking off from an airport in Orebro, west of Stockholm. The plane was carrying nine people when it crashed, according to authorities.
In a chilling echo of the past, the crash is the second fatal accident involving skydivers or parachutists in as many years, this time involving a helicopter. Earlier this year, a plane crashed on a small island off the coast of northern Sweden, killing all nine people on board, eight of whom were members of a parachutist organisation.
Following reports that the plane had crashed near the runway shortly after taking off, the local police department received word around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday that the DHC-2 Turbo Beaver, which had been rented by a local skydiving club, had gone down near the runway.
According to Reuters, the plane was destroyed by fire when it crashed.
Niclas Hallgren, deputy head of police for the Bergslagen region, northwest of Stockholm, said in a telephone interview on Friday that officers were working with the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority to investigate the accident.
According to Mr. Hallgren, “it became immediately apparent that this was a very serious crash.” “It was confirmed during the night that all nine people on board the plane had died.”
He went on to say that when the police arrived, firefighters and rescue workers were already on the scene.
Efforts are currently being made to locate and identify the victims. “It is a comprehensive and complex identification process,” Mr. Hallgren explained, adding that it appeared that all of the passengers were Swedish citizens.
Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, took to Twitter to express his condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died in the attack.
When he learned of the plane crash in Orebro, he wrote, “I was filled with great sadness and sorrow.” My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and loved ones during this extremely trying time.
Hans Kjall, a flight safety expert who used to work for the Swedish Transport Agency, stated that the plane that crashed in Orebro on Thursday was built in 1966 and that the pilot was killed in the crash.
“It is a 55-year-old aircraft that is still in service,” he explained. “This does not necessarily imply that the flight safety is poor, but the safety record for this particular type of plane has been a little inconsistent.”