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Top Danish Military Official, 8 Others Killed in Plane Crash

August 3, 1996

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ The head of the Danish armed forces, his wife and seven other people died Saturday when their air force jet crashed into a mountainside near the Faeroe Islands airport.

Adm. Hans Joergen Garde, who was named chief of staff April 1, died along with his wife, Anne, three aides and four crew members, said army spokesman Sgt. Peter Grona.

All nine bodies were recovered from the crash site and put on a Navy vessel to be returned home, Grona said.

Garde, 57, was the chief of the Danish Navy prior to becoming chief of all armed forces. He was on his first official visit in his new post to the semi-independent 18-island chain midway between Scotland and Iceland.

The plane, a Gulfstream jet, burst in flames after crashing into a mountain near the islands’ Vagar airport, on the southern Faeroese island of Vaagoe. It had taken off from the Keflavak airport in Iceland.

According to the Danish Navy’s headquarters in Torshavn, the islands’ capital, visibility at Vagar airport was poor due to fog. The airport is often closed because of mists that blanket the north Atlantic islands.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

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