WATCH | Death toll climbs to 23 from Ukraine military plane crash

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • 23 people have died after a Ukrainian air force plane crashed east of the country.
  • The plane was carrying 20 cadets and seven crew members when it crashed. 
  • According to a statement, the officer who was piloting reported the failure of one of the engines and seven minutes later it hit the ground. 


The death toll climbed to 23 on Saturday from the crash of a Ukrainian air force plane carrying mostly cadets in the east of the country, emergency services said.

The Antonov-26 transport plane was carrying 20 cadets and seven crew when it crashed late Friday two kilometres from the Chuguiv military air base near the city of Kharkiv.

One more body was found under the charred remains of the plane early Saturday, the emergency services said, bringing the number of victims to 23. Two people were also injured.

"The search for two more people continues," the services said in a statement.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Ukraine's SBU security service said it was a training flight but the cadets of the Kharkiv National Air Force University were not involved in piloting the plane.

It said in a statement that according to the initial information the officer who was piloting reported the failure of one of the engines, and seven minutes later the plane hit the ground.

Ukraine's Defence Minister Andriy Taran said "the plane likely caught the ground with its wing" and caught fire after that.

"The flight recorder is now in the plane, after analysing the information that is recorded there, it will be possible to draw conclusions," the defence ministry quoted Taran as saying.

The body of the plane burst into flames on landing and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze after an hour.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier described the crash as a "terrible tragedy", is due in the Kharkiv region on Saturday.

The region, which borders Russia in the northeast, has declared Saturday a day of mourning.

Many grieving Ukrainians mourned the victims of the tragedy on social media.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the cadets, officers, and crew killed and injured in the An-26 plane crash," US embassy in Ukraine wrote on Facebook. 

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As South Africa faces down the third Covid-19 wave, how are you keeping your family safe ?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Staying at home, isolating and being careful
18% - 309 votes
Sanitising and wearing masks when we go out
70% - 1205 votes
Going on as usual, we're not afraid of the virus
13% - 219 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.12
+0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.91
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.15
-0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.99
-0.8%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.2%
Gold
1,843.26
+0.9%
Silver
27.41
+1.2%
Palladium
2,894.50
+1.0%
Platinum
1,229.50
+1.6%
Brent Crude
67.05
-3.3%
Top 40
60,573
+0.6%
All Share
66,598
+0.7%
Resource 10
69,386
-0.1%
Industrial 25
83,277
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,685
+1.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo