Ukraine army airplane crash: Cadets amongst a minimum of 25 other people killed

media captionThe plane was carrying cadets on a training flight

At least 25 people, most of them air cadets, have been killed in a military plane crash in Ukraine, officials say.

The aircraft, an Antonov-26, came down near the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The plane was carrying 20 cadets from Kharkiv Air Force University and was on a training flight. Eighteen of them died – two were seriously injured.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. Officials say preliminary findings suggest cadets were not flying the plane when it crashed.

Firefighters fight a blaze at the crash site near Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photo: 25 September 2020

image copyrightUkraine’s emergency ministry via Reuters

image captionThe fire at the crash site was extinguished late on Friday

The plane came down about 2km (1.2 miles) from a military airport in the town of Chuhuiv, the emergency ministry said.

There is no suggestion that the crash is linked to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Chuhuiv is about 100km (60 miles) from the front line where government forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Fire broke out at the site and was later extinguished.

An eyewitness told Reuters news agency he had seen a man in flames running from the wreckage.

“Another car stopped behind us. We took a fire extinguisher and ran with another driver to help him,” he said.

In a statement on Saturday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said one of the surviving cadets was in a grave condition.

The statement added: “According to preliminary findings, the cadets did not directly control the plane – the crew captain carried out all flights. After completing part of the flight at 20:38 (17:38 GMT), he reported to the flight commander that the left engine had failed, asked for landing at 20:40, passed the outer marker at 20:43 and the catastrophe happened at 20:45.”

Flight recorders have been located but not yet retrieved, the Ukrainian Air Force Command said on Facebook.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is due to travel to the region on Saturday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story contained a map that was incorrect. We apologise for the mistake.

Related Topics

  • Aviation accidents and incidents

  • Ukraine

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