A private plane carrying four people that was due to land in Germany but continued to fly across Europe while air traffic controllers tried unsuccessfully to make contact, crashed Sunday off Latvia.
The Latvian Civil Aviation Agency said in a statement that the plane “was flying between Spain and Cologne but when it changed course, air traffic controllers were unable to contact.”
Fighter planes from Germany, Denmark and Sweden scrambled to try to contact the crew in the air as the Austrian-registered plane continued to fly across northern Europe, “but they saw no one,” Swedish search and rescue chief Lars Antonson told AFP.
The Cessna 551 flew over Swedish airspace in the Baltic Sea before hitting the sea off Ventspils just before 8:00 pm (1800 GMT).
The plane flew relatively steadily until it approached the coast of Latvia, when it quickly lost altitude.
It crashed “when we ran out of fuel,” Antonson said.
The nationalities of the four who were on board were not immediately known.
“Rescue teams with boats and helicopters from Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden are working at the crash site,” the Latvian Aviation Agency said.
“No human remains have been found,” added Antonson Al-Suwaidi.
It was not known why the plane deviated from its course.
“We have absolutely no explanation, we can only speculate ‘what happened’ but clearly they were powerless on board,” Antonson said.
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