At least 25 people died in a crash of Antonov An-26 aircraft in northeastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s military officials have confirmed reports that the turboprop plane crashed late on Friday as it was about to land at an airfield outside the town of Chuguev.
Dramatic footage from the scene has surfaced online, showing the aircraft in flames as it lies by the side of the road. Most of the plane has seemingly disintegrated upon impact and in the subsequent fire, disturbing imagery circulating online suggests. The tail section of the plane, however, remains largely intact.
According to the information from Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office, 25 of the 27 people on board were killed.
The governor of the Kharkov region Alexey Kucher initially said that, of the 28 people on board, seven were military officers and 21 were cadets with the Kharkov National Air Force University. However, emergency services later clarified that one of the cadets was not allowed to get on board.
Kucher said that there have been two confirmed survivors – both heavily burnt, with one in critical condition.
Local media have cited military sources who said the plane crashed due to engine malfunction. The pilot allegedly reported one of the engines breaking down shortly before the impact.