11 Parachutists Dead in Plane Crash
Witnesses say wing broke off plane in Belgium
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 19, 2013 2:58 PM CDT
Rescue personnel work around the debris of a small plane which crashed in a field in Marchovelette, Belgium.   (Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

(Newser) – A plane carrying parachutists for a skydiving trip crashed in southern Belgium today, killing all 11 people aboard, officials say. Minutes after the aircraft took off from a small airfield near the city of Namur, witnesses saw part of a wing break off, sending the plane into a spiraling nosedive and crash in a field close to Fernelmont town, says its mayor, Jean-Claude Nihoul. The skydivers and their instructors "were not able to jump out," says Nihoul. Everyone aboard was killed and no one was hurt on the ground, he says, adding that three parachutes were found near the crash site.

No information was immediately available about what caused the accident. Nicolas Hormans of the Paraclub Namur, whose skydivers were among the victims, told RTL network that the plane was probably about 2 miles high when it suddenly went down. He says the nosedive would have thrown everyone aboard around with such force that they would not have been able to jump out and parachute to safety. Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo quickly issued a statement confirming the crash and saying his thoughts are with the families of the victims. King Phillipe is expected the visit the scene later today.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
lex
Oct 20, 2013 10:32 AM CDT
Maybe the eu will now ban sky diving?
Estrus
Oct 20, 2013 2:15 AM CDT
3 skydivers tried to jump from the plane but it was too late.. the plane was a Pilatus, if it was a high wing, chances are the spar cap broke, which is a wide, long, thick strip of metal that goes across the top the planes wings, from right to left side or vise versa.. sad to show this, cause the pilots in the video link were acquantices.. but shows what happens when the spare cap breaks.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n06WNSS4tFs my guess the pilatus was this model pictured on wiki.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilatus_Aircraft
MaximussFubaris
Oct 19, 2013 7:53 PM CDT
Very sad, but I never could figure out why anyone in their right mind, would won't to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, 10,000 ft. in the air? But in this case, jumping would have been a good decision, if only they could have known.