Eleven skydivers die in Belgian plane crash

Several passengers tried to jump to safety before plane crashed

Police officers inspect the scene of a plane crash in  eastern Belgium today. A small Pilatus plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed, killing all 11 people on board, a fire brigade spokesman said. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Police officers inspect the scene of a plane crash in eastern Belgium today. A small Pilatus plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed, killing all 11 people on board, a fire brigade spokesman said. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

 

A small Pilatus plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed in Belgium today, killing all 11 people on board despite the attempts of several to jump to safety, local authorities said.

The plane took off from a small airport near Namur, central Belgium, carrying members of a local skydiving club, and crashed 20 minutes later near Fernelmont, south-east of Brussels.

“According to witnesses, a part of the plane broke off, it nosedived and crashed into the ground like a stone,” Jean-Claude Nihoul, mayor of Fernelmont, said.

He said three of the passengers had tried to save themselves by jumping from the plane but they were too late. All of the people on board were Belgian.

Agencies