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Six killed in mid-air plane crash in Germany

Six Germans have been killed when two small aircraft collided in clear skies over the southern German state of Bavaria, police said. The crash involved a one-man glider and a Cessna plane with a pilot and four passengers who were planning to do tandem parachute jumps, a police spokesman said.

The wreckage of the two aircraft landed in a corn field just outside the rural town of Lechsend, near Donauwoerth north of Munich.

The Cessna was burning on the ground and extinguished by firefighters.

"All we know at this point is that the two aircraft crashed into each other in mid-air," police spokesman Josef Bauer said.

"The wreckage landed in a field just outside of the town. Luckily no one on the ground was hurt."

The collision occurred shortly after 12:00 GMT.

The victims, five men and one woman, were aged between 21 and 52.

The plane was carrying four passengers, including the one woman, who were planning to do parachute jumps.

Both aircraft, which were completely destroyed on impact with the ground, had taken off from nearby air fields.

"We don't know at what altitude the accident happened," Mr Bauer said when asked about a local television news report saying the crash happened at an altitude of 1,200 metres.

He said the skies were clear and visibility was unlimited on a warm summer afternoon.

A Reuters photographer at the scene said wreckage was strewn several hundred metres across the field.

Police said criminal investigators were at the scene and trying to determine the cause of the crash.




By Reuters on 2003-08-23 | Last Modified on 2004-05-17

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