Ukrainian Antonov-12 Aircraft Crashes In Greece, Suspected Of Carrying Dangerous Material
GREECE - A Ukrainian owned, soviet made Antonov-12 (An-12Bk) plane carrying 8 crew members is reported to have crashed in Kavala, Northern Greece while flying from Serbia to Jordan, carrying 12 tons of what a fire brigade official called "dangerous material" as originally reported by Reuters.
Eyewitnesses of the crash who took video of the plane going down say that it was on fire as it came down in a corn field, in Palaiochori, about 25 kilometers (15 and a half miles) away from the Kavala airport as it was attempting an emergency landing.
Thus far, reports indicate that none of the 8 crew members survived the crash in which there were ongoing secondary explosions.
While authorities do not know the exact cargo that the plane was carrying, state media ERT reported that it was carrying "12 tons of ammunition" and that explosions lasted for two hours after the crash occurred.
Skai TV reported that the aircraft sent a MAYDAY message where the pilot said he would try to carry out a "belly landing". Moshe Schwartz, a reporter from YWN reported that the plane lost an engine before crashing.
Public Relations Manager, of Kavala airport managing company Fraport Aglaia Polioudaki, told the GR Times. "The plane sent a distress signal to the tower of Kavala but did not manage to get there. It is very far from the airport’s area of responsibility and therefore we do not know more details."
Locals said that there was a "very strong, penetrating smell" in the air after the crash, along with continued explosions after the initial crash. There was also a power outage reported in the immediate vicinity of the crash after it occurred.
Police and fire officials told those living in the locality of the crash to keep their windows shut tight and not leave their homes. As an added precaution they were also told to wear face masks due to the strong smell coming from the crash site.
Authorities are not sure whether there was dangerous chemicals on the plane other than the 12 tons of explosives that were reported to have been on the aircraft.
A safety zone of about 1 kilometer (half a mile in diameter) has been placed around the crash site.