7 die, 31 survive as two planes crash in mid-air

Over western Slovakia, killing seven people, officials said.

August 20, 2015 04:11 pm | Updated May 08, 2016 01:02 am IST - BRATISLAVA (SLOVAKIA):

Debris of two sport planes that crashed over western Slovakia lie near the villageof Cerveny Kamen.

Debris of two sport planes that crashed over western Slovakia lie near the villageof Cerveny Kamen.

Two planes carrying dozens of parachutists collided in mid-air on Thursday over western Slovakia, killing seven people, officials said. Thirty-one others on board survived by jumping out with their parachutes.

The crash took place on Thursday morning near the village of Cerveny Kamen, said Zuzana Farkasova, a spokeswoman for the Slovak fire-fighters.

Rescue workers used helicopters to reach the forested crash site in the White Carpathians mountain range that forms the border with the Czech Republic.

The two Czech-made L-410 transport planes collided at an altitude of 1,500 meters, said Juraj Denes, an official with the Slovak Air and Naval Investigations Bureau, a government agency that investigates plane crashes.

Peter Bubla, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said 38 people were on board the two planes and 31 survived. Five people needed some medical treatment but nobody was hospitalised, he said.

Some on board jumped out even after the planes collided, according to Interior Minister Robert Kalinak. “The 31 parachutists managed to jump out from the falling planes and survived,” Mr. Kalinak told the TA3 news television station as he visited the crash site. “They all landed safely. It’s a small miracle.”

The dead included the two crew members from both planes and three parachutists, Juraj Gyenes, another official at the aviation investigations agency, told TA3. TA3 reported the parachutists were training for this weekend’s air show in nearby Slavnica. “All of a sudden, I heard a big blow,” one witness told TASR, the Slovak news agency, in a news video. “Then it roared. I thought some pieces were falling, but it could be the parachutists.”

Kalinak and Slovak Health Minister Viliam Cislak visited the crash site, where wreckage from the planes smouldered among the dense mountain forest.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.