Skydiving plane crash kills nine in Sweden

media captionEyewitnesses saw the plane spinning down into the forest

Nine people died on Sunday when a plane carrying them for a parachute jump crashed in northern Sweden soon after taking off.

The GippsAero GA8 Airvan, a single engine plane popular with skydivers, crashed shortly after 14:00 (12:00 GMT), having left Umea airport.

The plane crashed on an island on the Ume river, a police spokesman said.

All those on board were Swedish, police added.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Swedish media quoted witnesses as saying some of the parachutists were seen trying to jump off the plane just before it crashed.

image source, EPA
image captionEmergency services worked near the accident site outside the city of Umea

"I heard a weird sound, which didn't sound normal. I looked up and saw a plane spinning like a top," witness Peter Larsson told the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"At first, I thought it was an acrobatic flight, but we quickly realised that something was wrong," he said.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his condolences in a statement published on Facebook.

He said: "In view of today's tragic air crash outside Umea, which took nine people's lives, I want to convey my condolences."

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