CERVENY KAMEN, Slovakia, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Reports of a mid-air collision between two planes over western Slovakia surfaced Thursday, with at least seven people presumed dead.
The incident occurred near the village of Cerveny Kamen at about 8:30 a.m. local time. Both planes carried at most 40 individuals, most of whom were paratroopers who parachuted out of the plane before the collision.
Both planes were “sport aircraft,” one was a Soviet AN-2 single-engine biplane, while the second was a Czech L-410 twin-engine plane. Individuals onboard were members of the Slovak National Aero Club Jan Mikus, and the pilots were practicing for a parachute show to be held Sunday in Slovakia’s Slavnica.
The planes crashed at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet.
An ambulance and at least three helicopters were sent to the crash site. First responders combed through a remote, hilly area near Slovakia’s border with the Czech Republic.
The seven deaths were confirmed by Slovakia’s interior ministry.