Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in northern Greece killing all 8 crew members

Pilot of plane heading from Serbia to Bangladesh requested emergency landing but failed to reach airport.

Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in northern Greece killing all 8 crew members

A Ukrainian cargo plane crashed on Saturday near the northern Greek city of Kavala, killing all eight crew members, according to the Greek Civil Aviation Authority.

The plane took off from Serbia and was headed to Bangladesh, Serbian authorities said.

The Antonov plane of the Ukrainian company Meridian ltd. took off from Nia last night and was transporting ammunition from the Serbian company Valir for the Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh, Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said in a press conference.

The plane had all the proper permits in accordance with international regulations, Stefanovic said, denying media reports that weapons were transported from Serbia to Ukraine on that flight.

Locals reported seeing a falling fireball following an explosion while more explosions continued hours after the crash.

Greek authorities said the pilot requested permission to make an emergency landing because of engine failure but the plane did not manage to reach the airport. A fire broke out in one of the plane’s engines while in flight which is believed to have caused the crash, said officials.

The plane crashed in farmland between two villages.

Authorities have cordoned off the area as they identified an unknown white substance near the crash site while tests are being carried out to determine what was on board.

A team from the Special Joint Nuclear Biological Chemical Defense Unit is expected to examine the crash site.

Hüseyin Demir