Plane Full Of Skydivers Crashes, Everyone On Board Dies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:34:54 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted.>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted. Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office told KHQ the homeowners returned to their house at around 6:00pm Wednesday and noticed their home had been burglarized.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE ALERT: Neighbors tackle brush fire with shovels; can't get it out

    WILDFIRE ALERT: Neighbors tackle brush fire with shovels; can't get it out

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:02:00 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Wednesday afternoon a brush fire broke out south of Spokane off Highway 195, near W Smythe and N Maple road. The fire is burning in a residential area and neighbors we talked to say they are very worried about their homes. It's not clear how the fire started, but when nearby homeowners saw smoke they ran out with shovels to try and stamp it out.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Wednesday afternoon a brush fire broke out south of Spokane off Highway 195, near W Smythe and N Maple road. The fire is burning in a residential area and neighbors we talked to say they are very worried about their homes. It's not clear how the fire started, but when nearby homeowners saw smoke they ran out with shovels to try and stamp it out.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    23-year-old man arrested for burglary, shooting in north Spokane County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:34:54 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted.>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 23-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after police say he burglarized a home in north Spokane County and fired a shot at the homeowner when confronted. Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office told KHQ the homeowners returned to their house at around 6:00pm Wednesday and noticed their home had been burglarized.>>
  • Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Throwback Thursday: Skateboarding

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:13:02 GMT
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.>>
    KHQ.com - The battle against skateboarders was in full force in 1990 where we found this clip featuring "the path of destruction" caused by young skateboarders in downtown Spokane. Without a skatepark, where were the kids to go? One of the first official skateparks in downtown was built until 7 years later.
    >>
  • KEEPING VIGIL: Double J Dog Ranch

    KEEPING VIGIL: Double J Dog Ranch

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:55:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of us will never know what it is like to live with a disability.For the past 5 years Duane and Cristene Justus have opened their home and hearts to many special needs dogs. Currently they have 17. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of us will never know what it is like to live with a disability.For the past 5 years Duane and Cristene Justus have opened their home and hearts to many special needs dogs. Currently they have 17. KHQ's Stephanie Vigil was lucky enough to spend an afternoon at Double J Dog Ranch. Cristene and Duane Justus can't imagine euthanizing the dogs, who don't get adopted out as much as normal dogs do. "My heart is so big for them because they don’t know any different.>>