Five die in plane and glider crashes in eastern Switzerland

The site of the glider and plane crashes above Bivio in eastern Switzerland. Graubünden cantonal police

Five people lost their lives on Saturday when a glider and a small plane crashed in high mountains above Bivio in canton Graubünden, the police reported on Monday. It is unclear if the accidents are linked.

This content was published on June 14, 2021 - 12:17

Two pilots and three passengers died in the crashes, the Graubünden cantonal police said on MondayExternal link.

The glider took off on Saturday from Amlikon in canton Thurgau with a single pilot on board. The Robin DR400 light aircraft meanwhile left Colombier, canton Neuchâtel, on Saturday with a pilot and three passengers – a man, woman and child – the police said.

The small light aircraft made a stop-over at Samedan in canton Graubünden before continuing at 5.20pm on its route towards Locarno in canton Ticino.

The Swiss emergency rescue service Rega contacted the police at 9.30pm on Saturday to inform them that a glider had crashed above Bivio and that the pilot had died. Unfortunately, it was impossible to access the crash site located at 2,700 metres due to poor weather.

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On Sunday, rescue teams were able to travel to the site of the crashed glider. It was then that they discovered the small aircraft and dead pilot and passengers, which had crashed approximately one kilometre from the glider.

The Graubünden cantonal prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation to determine the causes of the two accidents and if they were linked.

Plane crashes with five or more fatalities are rare in Switzerland. In 2018, a vintage Ju-52 plane crashed near Flims in canton Graubünden killing all 20 passengers.

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