Three people, including a baby, have died after a small tourist plane crashed and burst into flames in the Swiss Alps, police said.

The Piper aircraft took off at 9am (7am Irish time) from an aerodrome in the western canton of Vaud destined for Italy, but crashed an hour-and-a-half later at an altitude of 2,000 metres near the Simplon pass.

Rescuers said the pilot and two passengers including the baby died.

Police have not yet identified the victims.

An inquiry into the cause of the accident has been launched.