Belgian plane crash kills 11 on skydive, jumpers unable to get out of plane during nosedive

National Post | News

BRUSSELS — 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…

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