Ukraine army airplane crash: Cadets amongst at 26 individuals killed

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26 people, most of them air cadets, were killed in a military plane crash in Ukraine, officials say.

The plane, an Antonov-26, landed near the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The aircraft was carrying 20 cadets and seven officers from Kharkiv Air Force University and was on a training flight. Only one person survived.

The crash is being investigated. Officials say preliminary results suggest the captain, not the cadets, was flying the plane when it crashed.

Media signatureThe aircraft was carrying cadets on a training flight

The plane landed about 2 km from a military airport in Chuhuiv city, the Emergency Department said.

Fire broke out on the construction site and was later extinguished.

An eyewitness told Reuters news agency that he saw a man in flames running away from the rubble.

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

Image rightsEPAImage descriptionAn investigation into the crash is ongoing

Two people are said to have survived the crash, but one later died in hospital.

President Volodymyr Zelensky declared a day of mourning, saying he wanted an “objective and unbiased” investigation to be conducted immediately after the crash.

“We have lost young cadets and seen military personnel who had their whole lives ahead of them,” he said. and added, “It is difficult to choose the words to describe the pain of that loss.”

His office said he had ordered all flights on similar aircraft to be suspended until the cause of the crash was determined.

Crash investigators are reportedly considering four possible causes – a technical malfunction of the aircraft, improper flight crew or ground control performance, and poor maintenance.

Defense Minister Andriy Taran was quoted as saying “the plane probably hit the ground with its wing” and then caught fire.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement that the crash took place five minutes after the flight commander asked to land because the left engine failed.

“According to preliminary information, the cadets did not control the aircraft directly – the crew captain conducted all flights,” the statement added.

There is no evidence that the crash is related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Chuhuiv is about 100 km from the front where government troops are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

FIX: An earlier version of this story contained a card that was incorrect. We apologize for the mistake.

Related topics

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  • Aviation accidents and incidents
  • Ukraine

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