Eight crew members killed in a cargo plane crash in Greece

A cargo plane belonging to a Ukrainian company carrying military supplies sent by a private Serbian company in Bangladesh crashed Saturday night near the Greek city of Kavala, killing eight crew members.

Greek rescue teams used a drone to monitor the plane wreck due to fears of the release of toxic substances, which brought two firefighters to the hospital early Sunday morning with breathing difficulties.

A photographer told AFP that the debris was scattered over a vast area of the accident site between the fields and can be clearly seen from the air.

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced on Sunday in a press conference in Belgrade killing the crew members of the Antonov cargo plane crashed near the city of Paliochori, in northern Greece. “Unfortunately, according to the information we have received, the eight crew members were killed in the accident,” he said.

Denis Bogdanovich, general manager of the Ukrainian airline Meridian, which operates the plane, confirmed to the German channel “Deutsche Welle” that all crew members are Ukrainians.

The Serbian Defense Minister explained that the plane took off from Nis airport (southern Serbia) on Saturday around 20:40 (1840 GMT), while the media Greeks reported that the plane requested an emergency landing at the nearby Greek airport of Kavala, but it was not in able to achieve it.

The Serbian Defense Minister added that the plane was loaded with about 11 tons of weapons, including mines, belonging to the Serbian private company Valer and sent in Bangladesh in by virtue of an agreement with the Dhaka Ministry of Defense “according to international rules”, denying that these weapons were sent in Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, the media they claimed that the flight was carrying weapons in Ukraine, which is absolutely not true, “he said in Press conference.

The Bangladeshi army confirmed that the plane was carrying military material sent to it. The army public relations office said the plane was carrying “training mortars bought by Serbia for the Bangladesh army” and border guards before it crashed. in Greece.

“There were no weapons in the insured shipment,” he added.

The console Ukrainian in Thessaloniki Vadim Sabluk visited the region on Sunday. The Athens news agency said it had provided the authorities with the identities of the eight crew members, confirming that the plane was headed in Bangladesh.

Toxic emissions

Videos posted by eyewitnesses on social media showed a giant fireball circling the plane as it fell to the ground. A local channel also broadcast a video showing the effects of a collision in a field and a crashed plane in a vast area.

Witnesses said Saturday the plane was in flames and who heard explosions.

Yorgos Archontopoulos, a resident of the area, told ERT state television that he felt something was wrong as soon as he heard the plane’s engine. “At 10:45 pm I was surprised by the sound of the plane’s engine”, he said, “I went out and saw the plane. in flames “.

Authorities have asked those living within a two kilometer radius of the crash site to stay in home and wear masks on Saturday night.

The villagers were also prevented from entering the fields near the scene before the authorities could remove the debris and unexploded ordnance.

Local officials said a special team of 13 firefighters, along with 26 other firefighters and seven fire engines were deployed in theareabut they haven’t been yet in able to approach the scene of the accident.

“Firefighters with special equipment and measuring instruments approached the crash site and closely examined the aircraft fuselage and other parts scattered across the fields,” the fire officer told reporters. Marius Apostolidis.

He added that search teams will approach when the situation is safe.

The Athens news agency said an investigation will be conducted to find out cause of the accident.