Crew Members Killed in Ukraine Cargo Plane Crash in Northern Greece

A Ukrainian cargo airplane carrying munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed close to the town of Kavala in northern Greece late on Saturday, killing the crew members on board, Serbian authorities and Meridian airline stated on Sunday.

Drone pictures from the scene confirmed smouldering particles from the Antonov An-12 plane strewn in fields. Greek authorities stated there have been eight crew members on board and a Ukrainian overseas ministry stated they have been all Ukrainian residents.

The Ukrainian-based airline Meridian, which operated the plane, stated all of the crew members have been killed within the crash.

Serbia’s protection minister stated the airplane was carrying 11.5 tonnes of merchandise, together with mortar and coaching shells, made by its protection trade. The purchaser of the cargo was the protection ministry of Bangladesh, he stated.

Denys Bogdanovych, Meridian’s normal director, confirmed Serbia’s account of occasions. “This is not related to Ukraine or Russia,” Bogdanovych informed Reuters by phone.

Witnesses stated the plane got here down in a ball of flames earlier than exploding on impression in corn fields round midnight native time. Earlier the pilot had reported engine hassle and had requested an emergency touchdown.

Greek authorities couldn’t present data on the plane’s cargo or the crew. The particular catastrophe response unit and armed forces specialists have been dispatched to the scene, whereas native authorities issued a ban on individuals shifting within the space.

Serbia’s protection minister Nebojsa Stefanovic stated the cargo included illustrating mortar shells and coaching shells. It had taken off at 1840 GMT Saturday from Nis in Serbia.

“The airplane carried 11.5 tonnes of merchandise made by our protection trade. The purchaser was the Bangladesh protection ministry,” Stefanovic stated.

He stated the airplane’s cargo was owned by Serbian firm Valir, an organization registered to carry out overseas commerce actions of armament army tools and different protection merchandise.

Greek state TV ERT stated the plane’s sign was misplaced quickly after the pilot requested an emergency touchdown from Greek aviation authorities resulting from an engine drawback.

Amateur video footage uploaded on confirmed the plane in flames descending quick earlier than hitting the bottom in what gave the impression to be an explosion.

“I wonder how it didn’t fall on our houses,” one witness, Aimilia Tsaptanova, informed reporters. “It was full of smoke, it had a noise I can’t describe and went over the mountain. It passed the mountain and turned and crashed into the fields.”

A senior supply at Jordan’s civil aviation regulatory fee denied preliminary studies that the airplane was headed to Jordan. The supply stated that its flight itinerary included a stopover in Jordan’s Queen Alia worldwide airport at 9:30 pm (0630 GMT), to refuel, state information company Petra reported on Sunday.

It was additionally resulting from cease in Riyadh and Ahmedabad in India earlier than heading to Dhaka, Serbia’s protection minister stated.

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