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Four feared dead after private jet ‘carrying a family’ crashes into the Baltic Sea after ‘rapidly losing altitude’ off the coast of Latvia – sparking NATO to scramble jets
- NATO jets scrambled to intercept a private jet before it crashed into Baltic sea
- Sweden’s rescue service said that there was nobody visible in the plane’s cockpit
- Four people are feared dead, with the plane was said to be ‘carrying a family’
- The private plane began to ‘rapidly lose altitude’ during its flight from Spain
Four people are feared dead after a private jet ‘carrying a family’ crashed into the Baltic Sea after ‘rapidly losing altitude’ off the coast of Latvia.
NATO jets scrambled to intercept the plane thought to be carrying four people before it crashed into the sea this evening after taking off from Spain.
A private Cessna plane crashed off into the Baltic Sea, Sweden’s rescue service said, after an erratic flight course with nobody visible in the cockpit.
It is understood that four people were onboard, according to reports from German news site Bild.
They are said to be the pilot, along with a man, woman and their daughter, with rescue efforts underway.
Officials have warned that the chance of finding survivors in the crash is low.
The Austrian-registered Cessna 551 aircraft was flying from Jerez in southern Spain. File image
The plane turned twice, at Paris and Cologne, before heading straight out over the Baltic, passing near the Swedish island of Gotland
The Austrian-registered Cessna 551 aircraft was flying from Jerez in southern Spain, from where it took off just before 2pm without a set destination, according to FlightRadar24 website.
The plane turned twice, at Paris and Cologne, before heading straight out over the Baltic, passing near the Swedish island of Gotland.
Just after 6.30pm, it was listed on the flight tracker as rapidly losing speed and altitude.
‘We’ve learned that the plane has crashed (in the ocean) north-west of the town of Ventspils in Latvia,’ a spokesperson for Sweden’s rescue service said.
‘It has disappeared from the radar.’
The Swedish Maritime Administration has sent rescue boats, planes and a helicopter to the crash site, with the country’s coast guards confirming that the wreckage has been found, the Mirror reported.
Lars Antonsson, of Sweden’s Maritime and Air Rescue Centre, said that he chance of finding survivors from the crash is ‘minimal’.
The German news site reported that the plane’s pilot reported an issue with the cabin pressure soon after take-off.
A Lithuanian air force helicopter was dispatched to the crash site for search and rescue at neighbouring Latvia’s request, a Lithuanian air force spokesperson said.
NATO fighter aircraft took off from Estonia to follow the plane, a Lithuanian airforce spokesperson said. File image of a US F-35 fighter jet
Earlier, NATO fighter aircraft took off from Estonia to follow the plane, a Lithuanian airforce spokesperson said.
The Swedish rescue service said they had reported that no one was visible in the Cessna’s cockpit.
The fighter aircraft were from the NATO Baltic Air Police mission in Amari airfield in Estonia, the Lithuanian airforce spokesperson confirmed.
The mission in the airbase currently consists of four Eurofighter jets of the German Air Force, according to NATO. The spokesperson did not say how many jets there were or comment further.
Spokespeople for the Latvian air traffic control and rescue services were not immediately available.
The Austrian-registered plane took off from Jerez, Spain on Sunday afternoon
The Swedish rescue service said they had reported that no one was visible in the Cessna’s cockpit. Pictured, the plane’s flight path before crashing in the Baltic Sea