2 planes collide at Swiss airshow, killing 1 pilot

BERLIN (AP) — One pilot died when two small planes collided in the air and crashed at an airshow in northern Switzerland on Sunday, police said.

The two planes were part of a formation of three and they crashed around 11:15 a.m. (0915 GMT, 5:15 a.m. EDT) after they touched each other in the air, according to Meinrad Stoecklin, a spokesman for police in Basel-Landschaft.

The automatic rescue system of the first plane didn’t activate and the 50-year-old pilot, whose identity wasn’t revealed, fatally crashed with his plane into a barn in the center of the village of Dittingen. Nobody else was hurt in the crash.

The pilot of the second plane managed to escape by parachute and wasn’t injured. His plane crashed nearby a home on the edge of the village.

Police said prosecutors had started their investigation of the accident.

The airshow in the village of Dittingen near Basel was canceled after the crash, police said.

The two planes were part of a formation of three C-42b planes from Germany called Grasshoppers. The third plane of the formation wasn’t involved in the crash and landed safely, police said.

On Saturday, a military jet participating in an airshow in Britain crashed into a busy road, killing at least seven people. U.K. police believe the death toll is likely to rise to 11. The Hawker Hunter fighter jet, which was participating in the Shoreham Airshow near Brighton in southern England, hit several vehicles on a nearby road as it crashed. Witnesses told local TV that the jet appeared to have crashed when it failed to pull out of a loop maneuver.

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