Belgium’s prime minister has called it a national catastrophe.
And more tragic details are emerging about the crash of a small aircraft on Saturday that killed 10 amateur parachutists and their pilot.
It came down in a field near the village of Marchovelette in southern Belgium, around 10 minutes after taking off from Temploux aerodrome.
Belgium’s King Philippe, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and his Interior Minister Joelle Milquet visited the site of the tragedy in which there were no survivors.
“It seems that one of the wings became detached shortly before the crash and that completely destabilised the plane,” said Milquet. “Now the experts are at the scene. The investigating judge and the prosecutor’s office are leading a judicial inquiry.”
The victims are said to include a woman preparing to make her maiden jump as a birthday present. Three passengers apparently tried to save themselves by opening their parachutes. Some reports say the plane had already been involved in an accident 13 years ago.