7 die in Slovak plane collision during air show preparation
Seven people died in a mid-air collision in Slovakia between two planes that were carrying parachutists.
The four pilots and three parachutists who were killed were taking part in rehearsals for an air show.
"Soon after takeoff, after the first manoeuvre, the two planes collided due to causes that are not yet known," said Interior Minister Robert Kalinak.
Thirty-one parachutists managed to jump 1,500m to safety, with five suffering minor injuries.
Wreckage was discovered in a forested area near the western town of Cerveny Kamen.
The two L-410 turbo-prop aircraft were carrying a total of 38 passengers when the crash happened at 09:30 local time, according to Juraj Gyenes of Slovakia's Air and Naval Investigation.
All of those on board were training for an air show this weekend in Slavnica.
Gyenes told the TA3 news channel that the accident may have been the result of overloading, which made one of the planes suddenly lose altitude.
An eyewitness told AP: "All of a sudden, I heard a big blow. Then, it roared. I thought some pieces were falling, but it could be the parachutists."
The air show has now been cancelled, local media say.