Two planes collided over Slovakia Thursday morning, killing seven people. The Guardian is reporting that 31 parachutists managed to jump to safety.
Two Czech-made L-410 cargo planes, carrying 34 parachutists practicing for an upcoming air show, collided over the rugged White Carpathian Mountains, near the Slovakian village of Červený Kameň. The collision took place at 9:30 A.M. local time, according to The New York Times, at an altitude of almost 5,000 feet. One plane flew under the other, hitting its tail, causing both planes to begin spiraling.
Slovakia plane crash: 7 killed as two planes carrying parachutists collide mid-air – http://t.co/OlWPl5mbNC pic.twitter.com/HJOyiOs7cT
— AOL Travel UK (@aoltraveluk) August 21, 2015
Parachutist Roman Bakic, who was on board one of the planes, described what happened to local media:
“I didn’t see the planes coming close. I just felt the first hit, the second hit and then everything just flew up and down. We were in a complicated situation because the plane turned and started spinning. But some of the pilots probably handled the situation and we got out. As soon as the turning stopped, we could jump out.”
An unidentified witness who was also on the ground described what they saw and heard:
“All of a sudden, I heard a big blow. Then it roared. I thought some pieces were falling, but it could be the parachutists.”
Some debris from the collision landed on the ground, but as of this post, there are no known injuries or damage on the ground.
31 of the parachutists managed to jump from the rapidly-falling planes and land safely. Three parachutists did not survive; the other four victims of the collision were the two pilots aboard each of the planes. Five of the parachutists suffered minor injuries.
— Jamie Fischer (@jamiefischerCTV) August 20, 2015
Slovakia Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said that he was amazed that anyone survived at all.
“The 31 parachutists managed to jump out from the falling planes and survived. They all landed safely. It’s a small miracle.”
Unfortunately, mid-air collisions tend to plague military and civilian aircraft despite advances in technology. Just last summer, according to this Inquisitr report, two civilian aircraft came perilously close to one another in Argentina.
The air show for which the parachutists were practicing when their planes collided over Slovakia has been cancelled.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Nipon Laicharoenchokchai]