Saturday, 26 September 2020

At least 26 people dead in Ukraine plane crash

Photo EPA

According to officials, at least twenty-six people had died in a military aircraft crash just over a mile from the town of Chuhuiv in Ukraine.

The aircraft was an Antonov-26 was on a training flight and was carrying 20 cadets and 7 officers from the Kharkiv Air Force University.

Reuters news agency reports that an eye witness had said 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.

Officials have confirmed that an investigation is underway, although preliminary enquiries seem to suggest that the aircraft's captain was flying the aircraft at the time of the crash, not any of the cadets. Local media is reporting that air crash investigators are reportedly looking at four possible causes of the disaster-  aircraft technical malfunction, improper performance by the flight crew,  improper performance by ground control, and poor maintenance.

Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelensky said he sought an "objective and unbiased" investigation of the air crash, saying "We have lost young cadets and experienced military servicemen who had their whole life ahead of them," he said. adding: "It is hard to choose the words to describe the pain of this loss." he has declared a national day of mourning.

The SBU - Security Service of Ukraine has issued a statement advising the disaster happened five minutes after the commander requested to land because of left engine failure. "According to preliminary findings, the cadets did not directly control the plane - the crew captain carried out all flights," the statement confirmed.

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