Military Plane Crashes in Ukraine, Killing at Least 26

Vastavam web: A military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in northeastern Ukraine on Friday evening, killing at least 26 people on board, officials said. The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, the General Staff of the Armed Forces Ruslan Khomchak said in a statement, adding that at least two more people were critically injured.

Footage taken later showed rescue workers inspecting the smoking wreckage near the town of Chuhuiv. An investigation has started on what caused the crash. One pilot reported failure in the left engine of the twin-engined plane, said Oleksiy Kucher, the governor of the Kharkiv region, according to Interfax Ukraine, adding this would not have been a critical situation for an experienced pilot.

An eyewitness who was driving along the road towards Chuhuiv told Reuters he saw a man in flames running from the plane after it crashed. “Another car stopped behind us. We took a fire extinguisher and ran with another driver to help him,” said Yaroslav, who gave only his first name. The crash happened around 2 km (1.2 miles) from a military airport, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement. It said 27 people had been on board the plane. The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the defence ministry.