A small propeller plane crashed Thursday evening in Sweden soon after taking off from an airport in Orebro, west of Stockholm, killing the nine people onboard — eight sky divers and the pilot.
In an eerie repetition of the past, the crash is the second fatal accident in two years to involve sky divers or parachutists. In 2019, a plane crashed on a small island in northern Sweden killing nine people onboard, eight of them members of a parachute club.
The local police received reports at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday that the plane, a DHC-2 Turbo Beaver, which had been rented by a local sky-diving club, according to local news reports, had crashed near the runway shortly after taking off.
The plane caught fire upon impact, according to Reuters.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Niclas Hallgren, deputy head of police for the Bergslagen region, northwest of Stockholm, said on Friday that officers were investigating the crash with the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority.
“It was clear very soon that it was a very serious crash,” Mr. Hallgren said. “During the night, it was confirmed that all nine people aboard the plane had died.”
Firefighters and rescue workers were already on the scene when the police arrived, he added.
Efforts are now underway to identify the victims. “It’s a comprehensive and complex identification process,” said Mr. Hallgren, adding that all the passengers appeared to be Swedish citizens.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden posted on Twitter to express his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.
“It is with great sadness and sorrow that I have received the tragic information about the plane crash in Orebro,” he wrote. “My thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones in this very difficult time.”
Hans Kjall, a flight safety expert who used to work for the Swedish Transport Agency, said that the plane that crashed in Orebro on Thursday was manufactured in 1966.
“It’s a 55-year-old aircraft, still operating,” he said. “That does not directly mean that the flight safety is bad, but the safety record for this type of plane has been a bit mixed.”