Nine people have died in Sweden after a plane taking them up on a parachute jump crashed shortly after takeoff on an island close to the northern city of Umea.
The small plane carrying the parachutists crashed on an island on the Ume river about 40 minutes after it had taken off from Umea airport on Sunday, police spokesman Peder Jonsson said.
All the victims were Swedish, with one person holding dual citizenship, police said. The names of the victims have not been disclosed.
Witnesses told local media they saw some of the parachutists try to jump out of the plane as it careened into the ground.
“It’s a parachute plane, and something seems to have happened just after take-off,” Local rescue service representative Conny Qvarfordt said.
The plane was reportedly a GippsAero GA8 Airvan – a small aircraft popular with skydiving operations. It is designed to carry eight people, including the pilot.
King Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his sorrow in a statement.
“In view of today’s tragic air crash outside Umea, which took nine people’s lives, I want to convey my condolences. My family and I send our thoughts to their families and relatives,” he said on Facebook.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said the government was in close contact with authorities as they investigated the cause of the crash.