Private plane crashes off coast of Latvia after NATO jets scrambled | World News

A private jet has crashed off the coast of Latvia after warplanes from across Europe scrambled to track its journey.

According to FlightRadar24 data, the Cessna 551 departed from Jerez in southern Spain at 1.56pm UK time.

German news site Bild said it was supposed to land at Cologne-Bonn airport but reported pressure problems in the cabin shortly after takeoff.

French and Spanish fighter jets were sent but no one was found in the cockpit or cabin, Bild added.

According to reports, a family of three and a pilot were on board.

Flight trackers showed it was heading northeast in Paris, towards Cologne, but the plane passed over the city and out into the Baltic Sea.

German and Danish warplanes also obscured it as it passed through their airspace but could not be contacted, Swedish Maritime Authority official Johan Wahlstrom said.

NATO jets from the Baltic Aviation Police mission in Estonia also joined the chase, according to a spokesman for the Lithuanian air force.

The plane flew close to the Swedish island of Gotland, but FlightRadar24 lists it rapidly losing altitude and speed at 6.37pm.

The Swedish rescue service said it “disappeared from radar” and crashed in waters northwest of Ventspils in Latvia.

An air force helicopter and naval ship from Lithuania have been deployed, with a Stena Line ferry also believed to be en route.

The aircraft is registered in Austria.

The Cessna 551 is a 14-meter single-pilot jet that can carry six to eight passengers.

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