Plane crash in Greece: Plane loaded with ammunition crashes near Kavala, killing eight people

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the plane was carrying equipment, including illuminating mortar rounds and training rounds, to Bangladesh when it crashed near Eleftheroupolis in the northeast of the Kavala region, Reuters reported. He added that all eight crew members were killed.

According to Greek public broadcaster ERT, the plane was carrying “dangerous cargo”. Smoke and intense heat, as well as a white substance found near the crash site, raised concerns about possible toxicity, said Marios Apostolidis, a major general in the Greek fire brigade.

Officials urged people living near the crash site to stay away from the wreckage and keep windows closed. Local residents described the scene of devastation. “The plane was already on fire when it crashed. There was a big explosion, like a mushroom, like a nuclear bomb,” one unnamed resident told ERT.

“My stomach clenched when I saw this mushroom,” said another resident.

An An-12 aircraft operated by Ukrainian cargo airline Meridian crashed shortly before 11:00 pm local time (4:00 pm ET) on Saturday, ERT reported.

It was en route from Serbia to Bangladesh via Jordan when it crashed, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Facebook on Sunday. It is assumed that the cause of the accident was an engine failure.

Nikolenko added that all eight crew members were citizens of Ukraine. According to him, an operational headquarters was set up at the Ukrainian consulate in Thessaloniki, where employees of the Ukrainian consulate worked at the crash site along with local rescue and law enforcement teams.

Fire trucks and rescuers arrived at the scene of the accident.
Wreckage at the crash site of an Antonov cargo plane belonging to a Ukrainian company near Kavala, Greece.

After the accident, 15 firefighters with seven vehicles immediately rushed to the scene, followed by additional firefighting forces, including special units with two “special” vehicles to collect hazardous materials, the ministry said, adding that the crash area was immediately cordoned off and installed. security perimeter.

There are currently 30 firefighters and “special forces” on the scene, as well as police and other rescue teams, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Experts are also working to determine what the white matter is and what the site’s toxicity is before proceeding with recovery efforts. Authorities have yet to restore the plane’s flight recorder.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply saddened” by the news that no one survived the crash.

“Deeply saddened by the news of the crash of a cargo plane in northern Greece near Kavala,” the Foreign Ministry tweeted. “We express our sincere condolences to the families of 8 Ukrainian crew members who tragically died in the plane crash.”

Demining units of the Greek Army arrived on the scene, and a “special” chemical protection team was on the way. Electricity was cut off in parts of the area after the accident, but power has now largely been restored, the ministry added.

This was reported by Thalia Kayali from Atlanta. Chris Liakos reported from London. This is reported by Teele Rebane from Estonia.