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Identities established Ju-52 aircraft crash victims can be buried

Wreckage from the crash on a remote mountain site

Investigators are some way from knowing what caused the aircraft to crash.

(Cantonal Police Graubünden)

The 20 victims of the recent vintage Juncker Ju-52 aircraft crash can be buried having been formally identified by the authorities. Investigators say it will take “several weeks or months” before they can establish what caused the tragedy.

One of Switzerland’s worst air traffic accidents took place on August 4 when the aircraft crashed at altitude into the Piz Signas mountain in eastern Switzerland. All 17 passengers and three crew members were killed.

Early indications suggest there was no collision with another aircraft or wires and no suggestion of foul play. There also appears to have been no distress call from the pilot before the plane crashed. On Friday, the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board said it was too early to give any more details.

The crashed plane was a Junker Ju-52 (affectionately known as 'Tante Ju' or 'Auntie Ju' in German), owned and operated by the JU-Air company based in Dübendorf, which specialises in sightseeing flights using old military planes. The craft was constructed in 1939, and before Saturday had flown for 10,187 hours.

JU-Air has been operating sightseeing tours with three Ju-52s since 1983. The company has said it would resume sightseeing flights of its historic aircraft fleet on August 17.

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