Skydiving plane crash in Sweden leaves 9 dead, officials say

Nine people were killed Sunday when a small plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed shortly after takeoff in Sweden, officials said.

The crash happened shortly after 2 p.m. on Storsandskar island not long after the plane took off from Umea Airport, located in the northern part of the country.

Swedish airport authority Swedavia said the plane involved in the crash was a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, an Australian-made single-engine aircraft popular with parachutists.

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Some of the parachutists were seen trying to jump off the plane just before it went down, witnesses told Swedish media.

Emergency personnel move a part of a wing and other plane wreckage retrieved from the crash site at Ume river outside Umea, Sweden, on Monday July 15, 2019.

Emergency personnel move a part of a wing and other plane wreckage retrieved from the crash site at Ume river outside Umea, Sweden, on Monday July 15, 2019. (Erik Abel / TT via AP)

"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 Dagens Nyheter newspaper. "At first, I thought it was an acrobatic flight, but we quickly realized that something was wrong."

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Another witness told Swedish broadcaster SVT she heard a loud noise from above before she saw the plane going straight down and crashing into the island.

Emergency services attend the accident site at a small harbor at Ume river, outside Umea, Sweden, Sunday July 14, 2019.

Emergency services attend the accident site at a small harbor at Ume river, outside Umea, Sweden, Sunday July 14, 2019. (Samuel Pettersson/TT via AP)

All those on board on board the plane were Swedish, the BBC reported.

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Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven expressed "great sadness" over the accident in a statement to Swedish news agency TT. He sent condolences to the families of the victims and said the government would stay in close touch with officials probing the crash "as it is important to investigate the cause".

Swedish officials said a small plane carrying parachutists crashed in northern Sweden on Sunday and all nine of the people on board were killed.

Swedish officials said a small plane carrying parachutists crashed in northern Sweden on Sunday and all nine of the people on board were killed. (Samuel Pettersson/TT via AP)

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.