Eleven people were killed and one was injured when a small plane carrying parachutists crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff in southern Poland, firefighters said today. Experts said it was the worst passenger plane crash in Poland in many years. Eleven parachutists and a pilot were on board the twin engine aircraft when it took off for a training flight, a national firefighters' rep says. A few minutes later the plane crashed and caught fire in an orchard in the village of Topolow.
No one was hurt on the ground, the spokesperson says. Firefighters called to the site found two dead, and one injured person was taken to the hospital, the rep notes. A local firefighters' rep says that medical services at the site confirmed there were nine other bodies in the wreckage. The plane was the property of a private parachuting school based at the small airport of Rudniki. The cause of the crash is being investigated. Firefighters say that the Piper Navajo aircraft may have been overloaded. (Read more Poland stories.)