Plane Full Of Skydivers Crashes, Everyone On Board Dies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Plane Full Of Skydivers Crashes, Everyone On Board Dies

Posted: Updated:
Belgium - A plane carrying parachutists planning to celebrate a birthday with a skydive crashed in Belgium on Saturday, killing all 11 people aboard.

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, said its mayor, Jean-Claude Nihoul. The skydivers and their instructors "were not able to jump out," Nihoul said in a telephone interview.

"It has been a long time we have suffered a tragedy of such kind," said Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who traveled to the site of the accident.

The victims were almost all between the ages of 20 and 40, and many families lost a father, Nihoul said. "There were 11 on board, and the trip was a birthday present for one of them," he added.

Everyone aboard was killed and no one was hurt on the ground, Nihoul said, adding that three parachutes were found near the crash site. "Some were trying to get out but could not," he said.

The 11 victims were not immediately identified by name, and the cause of the accident was being investigated.

The Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter plane took off in partly cloudy conditions over the wooded and hilly area about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Brussels.

Nicolas Hormans of the Paraclub Namur, whose skydivers were among the victims, told RTL network that the plane was probably about 3 kilometers (2 miles) high when it suddenly went down. He said 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.

Such plane crashes in Belgium, a small country of 11 million people, are fairly rare.

King Phillipe was visiting the scene of the accident Saturday night with Prime Minister Di Rupo.

© 2013 The Associated Press.
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:17 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:17:55 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained.
    More >>
  • Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:59:04 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.
    More >>
  • Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:56:35 GMT
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.More >>
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.