Ukraine Airlines plane crashes in Greece | World News

A cargo plane operated by a Ukrainian airline carrying weapons from Serbia to Bangladesh has crashed in northern Greece, killing everyone on board.

Residents said they saw a fireball and heard an explosion two hours after the Antonov plane crashed into farmland near the city of Kavala.

Debris from the Soviet-era An-12, operated by Ukraine’s Meridian Airlines, was scattered across the fields.

Meridian general manager Denys Bogdanovych said: “This has nothing to do with Ukraine or Russia.

Greek authorities said there were eight people on board. The country’s foreign ministry said all were Ukrainian citizens.

No one survived, Meridian confirmed.

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the plane was carrying 11.5 tons of products – including mortars and artillery shells – produced by the Serbian defense industry.

He added that the goods are owned by the Serbian company Valir and have been ordered by the Bangladesh Ministry of Defense.

Greek media initially reported that the plane was carrying 12 tons of “dangerous materials”, mainly explosives.

State broadcaster ERT reported that the army and explosives specialists were on their way to the site.

Debris scattered everywhere the incident occurred
Debris scattered everywhere the incident occurred

Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority said the pilot had tried to notify authorities of a problem in one of the plane’s engines.

It added that he was given the choice to land at airports in Thessaloniki or Kavala and he chose Kavala, which is closer, saying he had to make an emergency landing.

However, communication with the plane almost ceased shortly thereafter and the plane crashed about 40km west of the airport.

“We heard an explosion until a few minutes ago,” Filippos Anastassiadis, the mayor of Paggaio, said more than an hour after the plane landed.

“I’m about 300 meters from where the accident happened.”

One of Mr Anastassiadis’ deputies told ERT that explosions were heard for two hours after the crash.

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