France - Switzerland - 
Article published the Saturday 25 August 2012 - Latest update : Saturday 25 August 2012

Four Swiss die in plane crash in east France

A valley in the Jura mountains
Tony Cross

By RFI

Four Swiss citizens died when their light airplance crashed near Montbéliard, eastern France, on Friday evening. Local people say the plane was struck by lightning.

The aircraft took off from Antwerp in Belgium and was heading for Switzerland when it crashed in Solemont, near Montbéliard.

Interactive map of France

Police at first said that three people were in the plane but aviation officials later said that four Swiss nationals got on board before take-off.

Belfort public prosecutor Alexandre Chevrier on Saturday morning confirmed that there were no survivors.

The plane sent out a distress signal at about 6.00pm before plummeting into rocks, scattering debris over a large area.

The cause of the crash has not yet been officially determined but a storm was taking place at the time and several local people have told Solemont mayor Didier Grillot that they saw lighting hit the aircraft.

Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici, who is also a local councillor, expressed his deep sympathy for the victims's families.

tags: Accident - Airplane - Alps - crash - France - Jura - Pierre Moscovici - Switzerland - Tourism
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