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Scenes of devastation after plane carrying military munitions crashes in Greece, killing eight people

A cargo plane crashed in northern Greece on Saturday, killing all eight people on board and raising concerns about the Serbian military equipment it was carrying.



On Saturday, a Serbian military cargo plane crashed in northern Greece, killing all eight people on board and stoking concerns about its cargo.

Greece’s special mine clearing division of the Engineering Corps says it has found seven bodies and recovered three of them, according to Greek public broadcaster ERT.

According to Serbia’s Minister of Defense, Neboja Stefanovi, the plane was carrying illuminating mortar shells and training shells to Bangladesh when it crashed near Eleftheroupoli in the northeastern Kavala region.

Miners have entered the crash site and are investigating and identifying any munitions that the plane may have been carrying, according to ERT. Once the items have been identified, they will be collected and destroyed or neutralized on-site if necessary.


Major General Marios Apostolidis of the Greek fire brigade said that the presence of a white substance near the crash site, as well as the thick smoke and high temperatures, initially raised questions about the substance’s toxicity.

Before it crashed, the plane had already started burning. There was a mushroom cloud like a nuclear bomb, one unnamed resident said, according to reports from ERT.

When another resident saw the mushroom, “my stomach clenched,” she said.

Greek Fire Service spokesman Ioannis Artopoios says that so far, no hazardous materials have been found at the crash site.


In the direction of Serbia and the direction of Bangladesh

According to ERT, the Meridian-operated Antonov 12 cargo plane crashed around 11 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) on Saturday night.

After departing Serbia for Bangladesh via Jordan, it crashed, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Oleg Nikolenko said on Sunday. Engine failure is suspected as a factor in the mishap.

Nikolenko said that all eight crew members were Ukrainian citizens. According to him, the Ukrainian consulate in Thessaloniki set up an operational headquarters where Ukrainian consular officers worked alongside local rescue and law enforcement teams at the crash site.


As a result of the accident, the ministry reported that 15 firefighters and seven vehicles were dispatched to the scene, and that additional units, including two “special” vehicles for collecting hazardous materials, were also deployed. The ministry also noted that the crash site was immediately cordoned off and a security perimeter was set up.

According to a statement from Greece’s foreign ministry, there are currently 30 firefighters and “special forces” on the scene as well as police and other rescue teams.

The white substance’s identity is also being investigated by experts. The plane’s flight recorder has yet to be found by investigators.

The death toll from the plane crash has left the Greek foreign ministry “profoundly saddened,” according to the ministry.


In a tweet, Greece’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply saddened” by the news that a cargo plane had crashed near Kavala in northern Greece. Ukraine’s prime minister, Petro Poroshenko, issued a statement saying, “We extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends.”

One of the Greek Army’s “special” chemical defense teams was already there clearing land mines. After the crash, power was temporarily lost in some areas, but it has since been restored in most of the region, according to the ministry.

Talia Kayali was in Atlanta when she reported. Reporting from London, Chris Liakos. Reporting is by Teele Rebane from Tallinn, Estonia.

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