A small plane that that had three new skydivers on it has crashed in the northwestern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The accident happened just after takeoff from Banja Luka at the Zaluzani Airprot. There were three people who were beginning skydivers, a skydiving instructor, and a pilot killed in the crash. The parachuters were getting ready to perform their first jump from the Cessna plane. Firefighters responded to the scene quickly, but were not able to find any survivors.
According to witnesses, which included some of the relatives of those who died, the plane exploded in mid-air. The plane then crashed in a field near the airport. There is video from the site of the crash that showed many family members crying after watching the plane fall from the sky. Mirna Soja, a spokeswoman for the Banja Luka police department said that the plane was part of a local skydiving training school.
There is little information about what might have caused the accident; however, the interior minister of Republika Srpska,Stanislav Coda, said that there would be a full investigation in order to prevent similar crashes in the future. The prime minister of Republika Srpska, Aleksandar Dzombic, offered his condolences to the relatives of those who died.
The crash was the worst in recent history in the country. In 2008, a helicopter crashed near Travnik. The helicopter belonged to European Union Force Althea (EUFOR). Two German EUFOR personnel and two Spanish EUFOR pilots were killed.
In 2004, the president of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski, was killed along with eight others when the plane they were on crashed into a mountain during a storm. The crash happened near Mostar International Airport. No one on the plane survived the crash which was found to have been the result of pilot error.