Plane With Large Shipment Of Serbian Munitions Crashes In Northern Greece

Via Reuters

The government of Serbia announced Sunday that a Ukrainian cargo plane has crashed in northern Greece. The cargo plane was said to have been carrying a large amount of munitions en route to Jordan, and then to Bangladesh as part of a deal with its military.

The flight was operating under a Ukrainian carrier, as France24 details, “Drone images from the scene showed debris from the bulking Antonov An-12 aircraft strewn in fields. Greek authorities said there were eight crew members on board and a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman said they were all Ukrainian citizens.” All eight crew members have been reported killed.

Serbia’s defense minister Nebojsa Stefanovic confirmed that the plane was carrying mortar shells when it went down. “The plane carried 11.5 tonnes of products made by our defense industry. The buyer was the Bangladesh defense ministry,” he said. This is equal to 11,000kg.

Greek authorities say that in response to the disaster, and considering the military nature of the downed cargo, both a special disaster response unit and army experts have been dispatched to the scene.

The flight had initially taken off from Nis, Serbia at 1840 GMT. The BBC provides eyewitness reports of when the plane went down as follows:

Eyewitness video showed the plane on fire and a huge fireball as it crashed.

Aimilia Tsaptanova – who saw the plane come down – said she was amazed it hadn’t crashed into their homes. “It was full of smoke, it had a noise I can’t describe and it went over the mountain,” she said. “It passed the mountain and turned and crashed into the fields.

“There were flames, we were scared. A lot of cars came, but they couldn’t approach because there were continuous explosions.”

The pilot made emergency distress calls to a local tower requesting an emergency landing at nearby Kavala airport, citing engine failure, but didn’t make it to the runway.

Multiple social media videos are circulating taken from eyewitnesses on the ground who spotted a large fireball coming down…

BBC notes further, “The plane, which was due to make stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and India before reaching its final destination of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, was being operated by Meridian, a Ukrainian cargo airline.”


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