A Gippsland GA-8 Airvan plane operated by Skydive Umeå carrying skydivers crashes into the river near Storsandskär, near Umeå – Sweden
The aircraft was presumably destroyed and the nine occupants onboard were fatally injured.
The plane took off from Umea airport shortly after 1.30pm and came down around 2 pm, just 2km away.
Footage of the crash captured by a local 16-year-old showed the plane spiralling as it nosedived into Storsandskar, an island close to the airport. He told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he went outside when he heard a high-pitched sound. He then watched as the plane nose-dived out of sight, before hearing a loud bang.
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Emergency services have since launched a rescue effort, and the victims’ relatives have been informed.
The identity of the victims’ names or nationalities were not revealed.
Rescue service spokesman Conny Qvarfordt said: “We are already on the scene with a rescue team which is assisting the ambulance and we have opened a location, together with aid organizations, to give psychological and social care.
“It’s a parachute plane, and something seems to have happened just after take-off.”
Umea Airport operator Swedavia said the plane was a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, a single-engine eight-seater aircraft.
Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud ‘bang’ and heard the plane dip before it crashed nose-first into the ground, local media reports.
The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he had received the news “with great grief”. He added: “I think of the dead and their relatives in this difficult time”.
The speaker of the Swedish parliament Talman Andreas Norlen added: “Every person has an infinite value. When nine people are pulled away at the same time, a large tear occurs in our social fabric.
“Let us give a thought to those who died in the air accident at Umea, but also to their closest and all others whose lives will never really be the same again.”