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22 persons dead as military aircraft crashes in Ukraine


At least 22 people have been declared dead after a military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in north-eastern Ukraine on Friday evening.

The Antonov An-26 airplane crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, Ruslan Khomchak, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, said in a statement.

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Khomchak explained that at least two more persons were critically injured.

A video posted by Anton Gerashchenko, the Deputy Interior Minister, on Facebook showed the aircraft in flames lying near a road and smoke billowing upwards in the night sky.

An investigation has already started on what caused the airplane to crash.

The crash happened around two kilometres (1.2 miles) from a military airport.

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The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the country’s Defence Ministry.

Reacting, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said: “A state commission is being created to identify all the circumstances and causes of this disaster.

Search and rescue work continues on the spot.”