CHUGUIV: According to the Ministry of the Interior, a Ukrainian Air Force plane crashed near Kharkov in the east of the country on Friday, killing at least 22 people, including military cadets, and seriously injuring two others.
Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko confirmed the death toll to AFP, describing the incident as a “shock”, and saying that the cause of the crash was being investigated.
The footage of the crash posted by officials on social media showed that the remains of the Antonov 26 transport plane was still smoldering.
“Most of [the dead] were students” of the Kharkiv National Air Force University, the air force said in a statement.
It added that there were 27 people, 20 trainees and 7 crew members on board.
The emergency services department said that 22 people have been confirmed dead and two injured. “Continue to look for three people.”
Governor Oleksiy Kucher stated on Facebook that the injured were in a “serious” condition.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the crash as a “terrible tragedy” and stated that he will travel to the Kharkiv region on Saturday.
“We are urgently creating a commission to investigate all the circumstances and causes of the tragedy,” he wrote on Facebook.
Emergency services said that the plane crashed at 8:50 pm local time (17:50 GMT), two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Chuhuifu military base.
In the photos released by the emergency services, firefighters in helmets and reflective clothes sprayed the wreckage of the plane with water jets.