Crew member killed in Ukraine Cargo plane crash in northern Greece

A Ukrainian cargo plane from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed near the northern Greek city of Kavala late Saturday, killing crew members, Serbian officials and the Meridian airline said on Sunday.

Drone images from the scene show smoldering debris from Antonov An-12 aircraft scattered in fields. Greek officials said there were eight crew members on board and a spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry said they were all Ukrainian nationals.

Ukrainian airline Meridian, which operates the plane, said all crew members were killed in the crash.

Serbia’s defense minister said the plane was carrying 11.5 tons of products, including mortars and training shells, made by its defense industry. The buyer of the cargo was the Defense Ministry of Bangladesh, he said.

Meridian General Director Denis Bogdanovich confirmed the events in Serbia. “It’s not related Ukraine Or Russia,” Bogdanovich told Reuters by telephone.

Witnesses said the plane went down in flames before the corn fields exploded around midnight local time. Earlier the pilot had reported an engine failure and requested an emergency landing.

Greek officials could not provide details about the plane’s cargo or crew. Special Disaster Response Unit and Army experts were dispatched to the scene, while local authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of people in the area.

Serbia’s Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the cargo included mortar shells and training shells. It took off from Nis, Serbia, at 1840 GMT on Saturday.

“The aircraft carried 11.5 tonnes of products made by our defense industry. The buyer was the Bangladesh Defense Ministry, ”said Stefanovic.

He said the cargo of the aircraft was owned by the Serbian company Valir, a company registered to carry out foreign trade activities of arms, military equipment and other defense products.

Greek state TV ERT said the plane had lost signal shortly after the pilot requested an emergency landing from Greek aviation authorities due to an engine problem.

Amateur video footage uploaded to shows the plane in flames rapidly descending before hitting the ground in what appears to be an explosion.

“I wonder how it didn’t fall on our homes,” a witness, Emilia Tsaptanova, told reporters. “It was full of smoke, there was a noise I can’t describe and went over the mountain. It passed over the mountain and turned and fell into the fields.”

A senior source at Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission denied initial reports that the plane was headed for Jordan. The source said its flight itinerary includes a stopover for refueling at Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport at 9:30 pm (0630 GMT), state news agency Petra reported on Sunday.

It was also due to stay in Riyadh and Ahmedabad. India Serbia’s Defense Minister said before leaving for Dhaka.

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