A Dutch private plane, registered with a Rotterdam company, crashed in western Croatia yesterday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that all three occupants, of Dutch nationality, died tragically.
The plane, a Cirrus SR20, disappeared from radar at about 12:30 a.m. Dutch time yesterday, Croatian media reported. The aircraft was on a flight from the Slovenian city of Maribor to the popular Croatian destination, Pula. The identification of the victims is currently unknown.
The plane crashed in the wooded area of Mali Makovnik, on Mount Kapela, a challenging location for rescuers due to the inhospitable terrain. About 120 rescuers, supported by drones and helicopters, were involved in the search for the wreckage and passengers. The wreckage was discovered just after 7 p.m.
Danko Petrin, the head of the aviation accident service, said the investigation is now focusing on collecting data, including pilot communication and radar data, to get a full picture of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Investigators will also determine whether the bad weather and fog that prevailed in the area at the time contributed to the crash.
The mountainous crash site is particularly challenging for rescuers due to the presence of landmines from the 1990s Yugoslav war, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns. The rescue operation therefore had to be carried out with extreme caution.