Drone search under way at Greek cargo plane crash site



On Sunday, a drone watched over the wreckage of a Ukrainian airline cargo plane that crashed the day before near the Greek city of Kavala.

According to state television, the army, explosives experts and Hellenic Atomic Energy Commission personnel approached the site after it was deemed safe, as concerns about the toxicity of the unknown cargo led them to stay away.

Fire brigade official Marios Apostolidis told reporters that “firemen with special equipment and measuring instruments approached the crash site and carefully inspected the fuselage and other parts scattered across the fields.”

He added that when the area is declared safe, search teams will start working.

Near the crash site are 13 people from the special forces of the fire department, as well as 26 firefighters.

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Video footage from a local channel shows impact marks on the field and the wreckage of the aircraft scattered at a great distance.

An Antonov An-12 cargo plane crashed late on Saturday near the village of Paleochori in northern Greece, the fire department said.

Video shared by eyewitnesses on social media shows the plane being engulfed in a giant fireball as it crashed to the ground.

According to eyewitnesses, the plane was on fire and they heard explosions.

People living within a two-kilometer radius of the crash site were asked to stay in their homes and wear masks on Saturday night.

Two firefighters were rushed to the hospital early Sunday morning with breathing problems from the poisonous fumes.

Local resident Giorgos Archontopoulos told state television ERT that he sensed something was wrong as soon as he heard the sound of the plane’s engine.

“At 22:45 (19:45 GMT) I was surprised by the sound of the aircraft engine,” he said. “I went outside and saw that the engine was on fire.”

Local authorities said seven fire engines were dispatched to the crash site, but were unable to reach due to ongoing explosions.

“Dangerous” cargo –

According to media reports, the cargo plane was flying from Nis airport in Serbia to Amman in Jordan and requested permission for an emergency landing at nearby Kavala airport, but was unable to reach it.

ERT reported that it was a Ukrainian plane, which villagers said was already on fire before crashing.

There is no official information on the number of people on board the aircraft.

But ERT said there were eight people on board and that its 12-ton cargo “was dangerous.”

Police last night asked the journalists who arrived at the scene to wear masks, the report said.

You need to leave for your own safety. There is information that the plane was carrying ammunition, ”one of the firefighters at the scene told reporters.

“The plane crashed about two kilometers from the village,” Philippos Anastasiadis, mayor of the nearby city of Pagayo, told Open TV.