Nine killed as skydiving plane crashes in Sweden

A small plane carrying skydivers crashed outside the Swedish city of Orebro on Thursday night, killing all nine people on board, police said.

The victims included the pilot and eight passengers who were members of a local skydiving club, according to Orebro County Governor Maria Larsson.

Spokesperson Carl-Johan Linde of the Swedish Maritime Administration, which oversees air traffic, said the crash must have occurred "in connection" with the plane’s takeoff but the details are still unclear.

The plane burst into flames upon impact on what appeared to be an open field.

"There were no lives to save," local fire chief Per-Ove Staberyd, who coordinated the work of firefighters and other first responders, said.

Police received word of the crash shortly before 7:30 p.m. local time and quickly knew it was "a very serious incident," deputy regional police chief Niclas Hallgren said on Friday.

He said that investigating the accident would be "a difficult job. It will take its time."

"Something happened in the middle of the runway. The plane didn’t get up very high before it went down to the left of the runaway," Peter Swaffer, head of department at the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority, told daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven wrote on Twitter that it was "with great sadness and dismay" that he heard about the crash, and expressing his "deepest sympathy."

Flags flew at half mast in Orebro, and the prime minister said during an impromptu news conference that Friday was "a day of mourning in Sweden."

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