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Military plane carrying air force cadets crashes in Ukraine, killing 22

In this TV grab released by Ukraine's Emergency Situation Ministry, an AN-26 military plane bursts into flames after it crashed in the town of Chuguyiv close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, late Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Among 28 people on board 22 people were killed.   | Photo Credit: AP

A military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in northeastern Ukraine on Friday evening, killing at least 22 people on board, officials said.

The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, the General Staff of the Armed Forces Ruslan Khomchak said in a statement, adding that at least two more people were critically injured.

Video posted by Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko on Facebook showed the plane in flames lying near a road and smoke billowing upwards in the night sky.

Footage taken later showed rescue workers inspecting the smoking wreckage near the town of Chuhuiv.

Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian military Antonov An-26 plane outside of Chuhuiv town, Ukraine September 25, 2020.

Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian military Antonov An-26 plane outside of Chuhuiv town, Ukraine September 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE OF UKRAI via REUTERS

 

An investigation has started on what caused the crash.

One pilot reported failure in the left engine of the twin-engined plane, said Oleksiy Kucher, the governor of the Kharkiv region, according to Interfax Ukraine, adding this would not have been a critical situation for an experienced pilot.

Citing preliminary information, Kucher said that some of the people on board managed to jump out of the plane when it was at low altitude.

The crash happened around 2 km from a military airport, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement. It said 27 people had been on board the plane.

In this photo released by Kharkiv Regional State Administration, wreckage of an AN-26 military plane seen after it crashed in the town of Chuguyiv close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, late Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

In this photo released by Kharkiv Regional State Administration, wreckage of an AN-26 military plane seen after it crashed in the town of Chuguyiv close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, late Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the defence ministry.

“A state commission is being created to identify all the circumstances and causes of this disaster. Search and rescue work continues on the spot,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said. Zelenskiy will travel to the area on Saturday.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 10:21:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/military-plane-carrying-air-force-cadets-crashes-in-ukraine-killing-22/article32701146.ece

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