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9 killed when skydiving plane crashes in Sweden

Emergency services at scene of plane crash
Emergency services at the scene of a plane crash in Sweden on Thursday.
(Jeppe Gustafsson / TT News Agency)

A small plane carrying skydivers crashed outside the Swedish town of Orebro on Thursday evening, killing all nine people on board, police said.

The dead included the pilot and eight passengers, police said. The victims were members of a local skydiving club, according to Orebro County Gov. Maria Larsson.

Spokesperson Carl-Johan Linde of the Swedish Maritime Administration, which oversees air traffic, told broadcaster SVT that the crash must have occurred “in connection” with the plane’s takeoff.

The plane burst into flames upon impact when it crashed in what appeared to be an open field.

“There were no lives to save,” said local fire chief Per-Ove Staberyd, who coordinated the work of firefighters and other first responders.

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Police received word of the crash shortly before 7:30 p.m. local time and quickly knew it was “a very serious incident,” deputy regional police chief Niclas Hallgren said Friday.

Rescue workers now focused on finding remains instead of survivors in the rubble of a Florida condominium collapse have no plans to pull back during the recovery effort.

He said that investigating the accident would be “a difficult job. It will take its time.”

Hallgren declined to provide details about the victims or speculate on why the plane had crashed. Joakim Berlin, an instructor with the Stockholms Fallskarmsklub, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that it was ”nine of our comrades who have perished, who are members of our skydiving family.”

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority immediately dispatched a team to the crash site outside Orebro, which is about 100 miles west of Stockholm.

“Something happened in the middle of the runway. The plane didn’t get up very high before it went down to the left of the runaway,” Peter Swaffer, the authority’s department chief, told the Aftonbladet newspaper. He didn’t elaborate.

The development creates new political uncertainty in the Scandinavian nation. The last election in 2018 created a deadlocked parliament.

The Dagens Nyheter newspaper identified the plane as a single-engine propeller-driven De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven wrote on Twitter that it was “with great sadness and dismay” that he heard about the crash, and he expressed his “deepest sympathy.”

Flags flew at half staff in Orebro, and the prime minister said during an impromptu news conference that Friday was “a day of mourning in Sweden.”

In a statement, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf offered his condolences to the victims’ relatives, adding that he and the royal family “regret their heavy loss.”


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