16 Killed In Russian Parachutists’ Plane Crash

This handout picture taken and released on October 10, 2021, by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry shows wreckage at a site of the L-410 plane crash near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan. (Photo by – / RUSSIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY / AFP)

 

Sixteen people were killed when a plane carrying parachutists crashed in central Russia on Sunday, the emergencies ministry said.

The L-410 plane carrying 22 people crashed around 9:23 am (0623 GMT) near the town of Menzelinsk in the republic of Tatarstan, the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

“Six people were rescued, 16 were taken out without signs of life,” the ministry said.

The ministry had earlier said 15 people died and that the aircraft was carrying 23 people.

While the Menzelinsk club organises skydiving experiences for amateurs it has also hosted championships and training sessions for cosmonauts.

Images published by the ministry showed the aircraft broken in half with a severely dented nose.

The six survivors were taken to hospital, the local health ministry told the Interfax news agency.

Tatarstan head Rustam Minnikhanov, who travelled to the scene, said pilots had reported an engine failure and requested an emergency landing shortly after taking off.

He said the plane tried to avoid a nearby residential area as it approached for landing but “the altitude didn’t allow it”.

 

This video-grab image taken from a handout video and released on October 10, 2021, by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry shows rescuers working at the crash site of the L-410 plane crash near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan. (Photo by – / RUSSIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY / AFP)

The plane hit a parked van with its wing and the aircraft turned over.

All the survivors were sitting in the back of the plane, club instructor Oleg Shiporov told TASS news agency.

Russian investigators have launched a criminal probe over the violation of safety rules.

Monday has been declared a day of mourning in Tatarstan.

‘Cosmonauts train here’

According to Interfax, the plane belonged to the Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy of Russia, which describes itself as a sports and defense organisation.

The organisation was created in the 1920s and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to travel to space in 1961, has trained on its airfields.

The head of the Menzelinsk parachuting club said that it was not to blame for the accident.

“We are the best, we are among the top five clubs,” Ravil Nurmekhametov told TASS news agency, adding that the club had hosted European and World championships.

“Cosmonauts train here,” he said.

TASS cited a source as saying that the state Cosmonauts Training Centre has suspended its work with the club pending the investigation.

In 2018, two amateur skydivers died while completing a group free-fall jump at the Menzelinsk club after their parachutes got tangled.

The Czech-built L-410 light aircraft was one of the two planes used by the club, according to its website.

Two L-410 planes suffered fatal accidents in Russia earlier this year, leaving a total of eight people dead.

Russia was notorious for plane accidents but has improved air traffic safety in recent years with major airlines switching from Soviet aircraft to modern jets.

But poor maintenance and lax safety standards still lead to frequent accidents in far-flung regions involving light aircraft, with occasional large-scale tragedies.

AFP

Romanian Billionaire, Seven Others Die In Plane Crash Near Milan

The Italian Flag.

 

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and their son, and all five others aboard, Italian media reported. 

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Corriere and the AGI news agency said Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed, as well as a child.

Milan Mayor Beppe Sala and his San Donato counterpart Andrea Checchi headed to the scene.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.

AFP

19 Bodies Found From Plane Crash In Far Eastern Russia

This handout photograph taken and released by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry on July 7, 2021, shows Emergency Situations Ministry workers at the wreckage of the Antonov An-26 missing plane found near its destination airport outside the town of Palana, in Russia’s Far East. (Photo by – / RUSSIAN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS MINISTRY / AFP)

 

A search team found the remains of 19 people Wednesday after a passenger plane crashed in Russia’s remote far eastern Kamchatka peninsula and the governor promised relatives “all necessary help.”

The An-26 plane flying from Kamchatka’s main city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the coastal town of Palana with 28 people on board disappeared and crashed on Tuesday.

Search teams later found wreckage of the plane near Palana after it was believed to have flown into a cliff.

“Fragments of 19 bodies have been found,” the regional branch of the emergencies ministry said in a statement.

The 28 people on board included six crew and 22 passengers, including two minors. All were presumed dead.

More than 50 people combed the coast of the Okhotsk Sea, officials said.

The search operation — complicated by fog, strong winds and waves — was halted for the night.

Kamchatka is a vast peninsula popular with adventure tourists for its abundant wildlife, live volcanoes and black sand beaches.

Governor Vladimir Solodov declared a three-day mourning period beginning Wednesday and said families of the victims would receive 3.5 million rubles ($47,000).

In Palana, Solodov also met with relatives of those killed in the crash and promised them “all necessary help.”

He said authorities would “do everything to help them live through this tragedy,” his office quoted him as saying.

In a telegram to the Kamchatka governor, President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences.

Officials have said the plane — built in 1982 — was in good condition and passed safety checks.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes and incidents, said it was looking at three potential causes of the accident: poor weather conditions, technical malfunctions, or pilot error.

An-26 planes, which were manufactured from 1969 until 1986 during the Soviet era and are still used throughout the former USSR for civilian and military transport, have been involved in a number of accidents in recent years.

AFP

Death Toll Rises To 29 In Philippine Military Plane Crash

 

At least 29 people were killed and 50 injured Sunday when a Philippine military aircraft carrying troops crashed and burst into flames after missing the runway in the country’s south, officials said.

Another 17 on board the C-130 Hercules transport plane when it crashed while trying to land on Jolo island in Sulu province are still missing, Major General William Gonzales said in a statement.

“This is a sad day but we have to remain hopeful,” he said.

Photos taken by local media outlet Pondohan TV and posted on their Facebook page showed the wrecked body of the plane engulfed in flames. A plume of thick black smoke rose above houses located near the crash site.

Armed Forces Chief General Cirilito Sobejana said the aircraft had been carrying troops from Cagayan de Oro on the southern island of Mindanao when it “missed the runway” as it tried to land on Jolo.

READ ALSO: Boeing 737 Cargo Makes Emergency Landing On Water

 

The plane tried to “regain power but didn’t make it,” he told local media, describing the accident as “very unfortunate”.

“Responders are at the site now, we are praying we can save more lives,” Sobejana told AFP.

Sobejana said the 40 rescued from the wreckage were being treated at the nearby 11th Infantry Division hospital.

Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano said the cause of the crash would be investigated.

“We are on rescue mode right now,” Mariano told AFP.

 

It was being treated as an accident rather than an attack, Armed Forces spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo told DZBB radio.

The four-engine plane crashed near a quarry in a lightly populated area, First Lieutenant Jerrica Angela Manongdo told AFP, adding the rescue operation had finished.

Initial reports said the aircraft overshot the landing strip and broke into two, Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan told AFP.

Most of the passengers had recently graduated from basic military training and were being deployed to the restive island as part of a joint task force fighting terrorism in the Muslim-majority region.

The military has a heavy presence in the southern Philippines where militant groups, including the kidnap-for-ransom outfit Abu Sayyaf, operate.

 

One of the deadliest

C-130 aircraft, the workhorses of the air force, are used to transport troops and supplies. They are also often deployed to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The mishap was one of the country’s deadliest military aviation accidents.

Senator Richard Gordon said it was the fourth this year with “mass casualties”.

“Are we buying defective crafts w the people’s money?” he tweeted.

Sunday’s accident comes after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed last month during a night-time training flight, killing all six onboard.

Three pilots and three airmen died when their S70-i went down near the Crow Valley training range north of Manila, prompting the grounding of the entire fleet.

The country ordered 16 of the multi-role aircraft from a Polish firm that made them under licence from the Sikorsky division of US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Eleven have been delivered since late 2020.

Monday Update: A Fatal Crash, Hope For Kagara Abductees And A 48-Hour Ultimatum

Good morning.

It’s a new week. We are leading with the military plane crash in Abuja, the rescue mission of the Kagara abductees, and a 48-hour ultimatum from the army chief.


Caregivers work at the scene of an accident involving a Nigerian military aircraft which crashed killing seven occupants on board at the Airport runway near Nigeria’s capital Abuja, on February 21, 2021.  KOLA SULAIMON / AFP

A Fatal Plane Crash

Seven Air Force officials died after their military plane crashed in Abuja shortly after take-off from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on Sunday.

The cause is still being investigated but the Air Force has released the names of the officers who died in the Beechcraft Kingair B3501 plane crash.

The officers were en route to Niger State on a surveillance mission, as part of the military’s efforts to secure the release of the abducted students and staff of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara.

Condolence: President Muhammadu Buhari said he was deeply saddened by the news and joined Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous officials who died in the line of duty.

Related: A United Airlines flight landed safely in Denver, US, after its right engine failed; debris from the plane scattered over the residential area over which it was flying,


File: Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, during a state broadcast on May 4, 2020.

Hope In Kagara Rescue Operation

It’s almost a week since staff and students of GSSS Kagara were abducted by bandits in Niger State. They are yet to regain their freedom.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said the general location of the Kagara abductees has been identified.

“The students of Kagara are located around  Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State which I believe very soon they would be back home,” the governor said.

Kaduna: In another attack, bandits have killed a man and his son during an attack on Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

Ogun: Police in the state say they have arrested three herdsmen for their alleged role in the attack on Bamajo village in Ayetoro, Yewa North.


The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru addresses troops in Dikwa Local Government, the headquarters of the Super Camp 9 Operation Lafiya Dole on February 21, 2021.

Army Chief Gives Ultimatum

The Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, has given a 48-hour ultimatum for troops to clear out Marte and three other communities in Borno state of terrorists.

Boko Haram had last week hoisted its flags in parts of Marte, but the military has been on a voracious offensive. On Friday, the military successfully repelled attacks on Dikwa, another Borno community.

Quote: “In the last few days we have had attacks in your Area of Responsibility,” Attahiru said. “It is now high time we get back and fight through and support our forces ahead of you. Areas around Marte, Chukungudu, Krenoa, and Kirta Wulgo must be cleared in the next 48 hours . . . Go there and do the needful and I will be right behind you. Ensure you do your job, and do your job well.”

Orlu: Calm appears to have returned to the south-east city after a military operation against illegal camps caused residents to panic.


What else is happening?

Herdsmen: Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, has reiterated that open grazing is no longer acceptable in Nigeria.

Price hike: The federal government met with Organised Labour late Sunday to discuss the impending increase in petrol prices and electricity tariffs.

SERAP: The civil rights organisation has asked the President to order the probe of the alleged missing billions from the Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education boards.

Rochas Okorocha: The former Imo State Governor is in police custody over his involvement in a property dispute in his home state.

Watch: Our correspondent Dare Idowu, in this special report, attempts to connect the dots of the possible causes of pipeline explosions in Nigeria.

Ebola: Four people have now died from a new outbreak of the deadly disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where people are reportedly resisting measures to contain the spread.

Serie A: Romelu Lukaku was instrumental as Inter Milan beat city rivals AC Milan 3-0 to extend their lead at the top of the league.


And that’s it for today. Join us tomorrow.

US, Reps Mourn Victims Of Military Plane Crash

Photo combination of US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, and the House of Representatives.

 

The United States and the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force have mourned the victims of the military aircraft that crashed near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.

In a tweet on Sunday, the US Mission in Nigeria commiserated with the Force, the families of the officers and all Nigerians on the tragedy.

The United States expresses sincere condolences to the @NigAirForce, family members and all Nigerians for the loss of life in today’s aircraft crash,” it tweeted.

Similarly, Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, promised investigation will begin in earnest to determine the remote cause.

“This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna,” he said.

“First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.”

While urging Nigerians to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation, the federal lawmaker said the committee “under the leadership of Femi Gbajabiamila is deeply saddened by this development and will work with the Chief of Air Staff to unravel the remote cause.”

In a statement issued by the Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, the officers are; Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist).

Others included Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.

The NAF spokesman explained that Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate probe of the accident.

Air Force Releases Names Of Officers Who Died In Abuja Crash

Caregivers work at the scene of an accident involving a Nigerian military aircraft which crashed killing seven occupants on board at the Airport runway near Nigeria’s capital Abuja, on February 21, 2021.   KOLA SULAIMON / AFP

 

 

The Nigeria Air Force on Sunday released the names of officers who died in the Beechcraft Kingair B350i plane crash.

In a statement issued by the Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, the officers are; Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist).

Others included Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

READ ALSO: Kaduna Security: Four Killed, One Injured In Kajuru LGA

The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed on Sunday close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.

The NAF spokesman explained that Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate probe of the accident.

“This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna. First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash,” he said.

“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal IO Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

“While urging the general public to remain calm and await the outcome of investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all NAF personnel, commiserates with the families of the deceased.”

Seven Killed As Military Aircraft Crashes In Abuja Airport

 

Seven persons have been killed after a military aircraft crashed a few yards off the runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja. 

Confirming the incident on Sunday, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola stated that the Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.

Vice Marshal Daramola further stated that first responders were already at the scene, adding that all seven personnel on board died in the crash.

According to the NAF spokesman’s statement published on Twitter, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao has ordered an immediate investigation into the accident. 

While urging the general public to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all Nigerian Air Force personnel, commiserated with the families of the deceased.

READ ALSO: Danger Averted As United Airlines Boeing 777 Suffers Engine Explosion

 

Caregivers work at the scene of an accident involving a Nigerian military aircraft that crashed killing seven occupants on board at the Airport runway near Nigeria’s capital Abuja, on February 21, 2021. KOLA SULAIMON / AFP

 

In a similar vein, Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation has confirmed the incident.

The minister who earlier on Sunday disclosed some details regarding the crash on Twitter did not however state how many persons were aboard the ill-fated flight.

Caregivers work at the scene of an accident involving a Nigerian military aircraft which crashed killing seven occupants on board at the Airport runway near Nigeria’s capital Abuja, on February 21, 2021. AFP

 

Mr. Sirika also sued for peace, urging Nigerians to be calm while the nation prays for the souls of the departed.

Safety Of Airspace Remains A Priority, Buhari Mourns Plane Crash Victims

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the victims of a military plane that crashed near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, adding that “the safety of the Nigerian airspace remains a key priority of the government.”

In a statement issued on Sunday by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari extended his heartfelt condolences to family members, friends and colleagues of those who died as a result of this tragedy.

According to the statement, President Buhari said he is joining the Nigerian Air Force, the military and other Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous personnel, who died in the line of duty.

He explained that investigations into the cause of the crash were ongoing.

READ ALSO: Chief Of Air Staff Orders Investigation Into Military Plane Crash In Abuja

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, had in a statement confirmed the death of all the seven persons on-board the aircraft.

He noted that the Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESIDENT BUHARI SENDS CONDOLENCES TO NAF, FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF MILITARY PLANE CRASH

President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply saddened by the fatal crash of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft on Sunday in Abuja that claimed the lives of seven personnel.

On behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to family members, friends and colleagues of those who died as a result of this tragedy.

The President joins the Nigerian Air Force, the military and other Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous personnel, who died in the line of duty.

President Buhari notes that while investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing, the safety of the Nigerian airspace remains a key priority of the government.

He prays that God will comfort the bereaved families and nation, and grant the souls of the departed peaceful rest.

 

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

Indonesian Plane Crash: What We Know

This file photo taken over Tangerang on March 18, 2013 shows a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-300 aircraft, a similar model to the Indonesian airline's Boeing 737-500 operating as flight SJY182 that lost contact during a flight from Jakarta to Pontianak on January 9, 2021. Adek BERRY / AFP
This file photo taken over Tangerang on March 18, 2013 shows a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-300 aircraft, a similar model to the Indonesian airline’s Boeing 737-500 operating as flight SJY182 that lost contact during a flight from Jakarta to Pontianak on January 9, 2021. Adek BERRY / AFP

 

A Boeing passenger jet carrying 62 people crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital Jakarta at the weekend.

Here’s what we know about the disaster so far:

– What happened? –

The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 was en route Saturday from Jakarta to Pontianak city on Borneo island, normally a 90-minute flight, but deviated sharply from its course shortly after take-off and went into a steep dive, according to flight-tracking data and aviation analysts.

Warships, helicopters and divers were deployed in the sea off the mega-city and discovered body parts, wreckage and passenger clothing.

Divers are also looking for the plane’s black boxes — cockpit voice and flight data recorders — after the authorities said on Sunday they have managed to pinpoint their location.

It is not clear what caused Flight SJ182 to go down near a small archipelago off Jakarta, but analysts have cited such factors as bad weather, pilot error and mechanical malfunction.

A fisherman from Lancang Island, part of the archipelago, told CNN’s local affiliate that he heard a noise like an explosion or thunder around the time of the accident. He then saw big waves.

Preliminary data suggested it was “most likely” that the plane was intact when it hit the water, according to a senior Indonesian transport safety agency investigator.

– Who was on board? –

The plane was carrying 50 passengers, including 10 children, and 12 crew members.

The captain was Afwan, a 54-year-old veteran aviator who flew for the Indonesian Air Force from 1987 to 1998, according to local media.

Married with three children, he was known as a devout Muslim and well-respected figure in his local community.

The profile of one of his social media accounts was reported to be a picture of Superman praying alongside the words: “no matter how high you fly, you won’t reach heaven if you don’t pray five times a day”.

Among the passengers were newlyweds Putri Wahyuni and Ihsan Adhlan Hakim, en route to their wedding celebration.

Rapin Akbar spoke to AFP after giving blood for DNA analysis at a hospital where body bags with human remains were being taken. He said he had five relatives on board, including an older sister, a nephew and his wife and their seven-month-old baby.

– What kind of plane was it? –

It was part of the Boeing 737 Classic series, a popular workhorse aircraft that entered service in 1990. The model used by Sriwijaya Air was configured to carry a maximum of 120 passengers, according to the carrier’s website.

The jet was 26 years old and had previously been flown by US-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines.

“This (plane) is considered an ageing aircraft and has special added inspections to perform by the airlines to ensure airworthiness,” said Michael Daniel, a retired US Federal Aviation Administration officer who is now an international aviation consultant.

It was not a variant of Boeing’s newer MAX series, which was grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes six months apart, in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

– Does Indonesia have a poor aviation safety record? –

In short, yes. The number of people flying in the world’s biggest archipelagic nation of over 17,000 islands has skyrocketed but safety standards have failed to keep pace.

The most serious crash in recent years was the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max accident in 2018, which claimed 189 lives, although that was blamed on the aircraft’s faulty anti-stall system.

Others include the 2014 crash of an AirAsia jet with the loss of 162 lives and a year later, the crash of a military plane shortly after take-off, killing 140 people.

But Sriwijaya Air had not previously recorded a fatal crash since starting operations in 2003.

More minor accidents also occur frequently in a country where conditions for pilots can be challenging, ranging from poorly-maintained runways to mountainous terrain and sudden tropical downpours.

One of the more unusual air accidents in Indonesia happened in 2013 when a passenger jet crashed into a cow and skidded off the runway as it came into land at a small airport on Sulawesi island.

The only casualty was the cow, crushed to death under the Lion Air plane’s wheels.

Ukraine Plane Crash Death Toll Rises To 23

Resquers and experts work on the place of the Antonov-26 transport aircraft crash at Chuhuiv military air base around 30 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv.   SERGEY BOBOK / AFP

 

The death toll climbed to 23 on Saturday from the crash of a Ukrainian air force plane carrying mostly cadets in the east of the country, emergency services said.

The Antonov-26 transport plane was carrying 20 cadets and seven crew when it crashed late Friday two kilometres (about one mile) from the Chuguiv military airbase near the city of Kharkiv.

One more body was found under the charred remains of the plane early Saturday, the emergency services said, bringing the number of victims to 23. Two people were also injured.

“The search for two more people continues,” the services said in a statement.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Ukraine’s SBU security service said it was a training flight but the cadets of the Kharkiv National Air Force University were not involved in piloting the plane.

It said in a statement that according to the initial information the officer who was piloting reported the failure of one of the engines, and seven minutes later the plane hit the ground.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Andriy Taran said “the plane likely caught the ground with its wing” and caught fire after that.

“The flight recorder is now in the plane, after analysing the information that is recorded there, it will be possible to draw conclusions,” the defence ministry quoted Taran as saying.

The body of the plane burst into flames on landing and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze after an hour.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier described the crash as a “terrible tragedy”, is due in the Kharkiv region on Saturday.

The region, which borders Russia in the northeast, has declared Saturday a day of mourning.

Many grieving Ukrainians mourned the victims of the tragedy on social media.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the cadets, officers, and crew killed and injured in the An-26 plane crash,” US embassy in Ukraine wrote on Facebook.

AFP

22 Killed In Ukraine Military Plane Crash

This handout picture taken and released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on September 25, 2020 shows rescuers working on the place of the Antonov-26 transport aircraft crash at Chuhuiv military airbase, 30 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv. AFP

 

At least 22 people including military cadets were killed and two others seriously injured Friday when a Ukrainian air force plane crashed near Kharkiv in the east of the country, the interior ministry said. 

“Twenty-two people died,” Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko told AFP, adding that “the search for two other people is continuing”.

The transport plane was carrying a total of 28 passengers when it crashed, including 21 military students and seven crew, he said.

“It’s a shock,” he added. “At the moment it’s impossible to establish the cause” of the crash.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would travel to the region on Saturday.

“We are urgently creating a commission to investigate all the circumstances and causes of the tragedy,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Antonov-26 transport aircraft crashed at around 8:50 pm local time (17:50 GMT), two kilometres (1 mile) from the Chuhuiv military airbase, the emergency services said.

The plane caught fire after the crash and was extinguished after one hour.

The town of Chuhuiv is around 30 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv and 100 kilometres west of the front line with the pro-Russian separatists.

AFP