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All 20 people overseas a German-made Ju-52 plane were killed when the WWII-era aircraft crashed in the Alps, Swiss authorities said on Sunday.

The German-built Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft, dating from 1939 and nicknamed "Iron Annie", was a collectors' aircraft.

Police in southeastern Graubuenden canton (state) said a several-seater plane crashed Saturday on the Piz Segnas mountain striking the mountain's western flank about 2,540 meters above sea level.

Eleven men and nine women were among the people killed on the plane.

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In a separate incident on Saturday morning, another small plane crashed near the town of Hergiswil, in central Switzerland, killing all four family members on board.

"We can assume that the aircraft hit the ground near-vertically and at relatively high speed", Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board said at a news conference in Flims.

Officials have said they were not aware of any distress call from the aircraft before the tragedy.

According to JU-AIR, a Ju-52 airplane, which seats 17 passengers along with two pilots, had crashed.

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He said officials have essentially ruled out a collision with another aircraft or hitting an obstacle such as a wire.

"The JU-Air team is deeply saddened and is thinking of the passengers, the crew and families and friends of the victims", JU-Air said on its website on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Although there were eyewitnesses to the crash, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes says that the investigation into what happened will take time. JU-AIR also suspended flights with the remaining two Ju-52s until further notice.

The crash occurred above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, an area popular with hikers and skiers.

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Almost 5,000 Ju-52 planes, a product of Germany's Junkers, were manufactured between 1932 and 1952.


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