An An-12 airplane from a Ukrainian Airline with “dangerous“Freight crashed just before 11pm last night in northern Greece near the town of Paleochori, some 40 km from Kavala.
— REALIST (@realistqx1) July 16, 2022
Greek media publish photos of the crash site #Ukrainian An-12 Tues airplane crashed near the city kavala in a field after the pilot reported an engine problem. According to preliminary information, there was ammunition on board, which exploded after the disaster. pic.twitter.com/9RN0MrP9RK
— Hizbie (@hizbie_) July 17, 2022
Greek media quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the airplane‘s engine burned, there were probably 8 people on board (Serbian media reported only three crew members) and about 11 tons “hazardous materials‘, mostly explosives.
Local authorities said seven fire engines were dispatched to the crash site but were unable to approach because of the ongoing explosions. One of the mayor’s deputies told ERT that explosions were heard two hours after the crash.
According to Kathimerini, firefighters have cordoned off a radius of about 300m from the crash site and are waiting for morning to inspect the area with drones and for army sappers to enter.
Police urged journalists at the scene to wear masks, ERT television said, and local residents were advised to temporarily stay indoors, close windows and turn off air conditioning.
The region’s mayor, Philippos Anastasiadis, said the evacuation of the village of Antiphilippi, which has a population of about 1,200, may be necessary.
Greek civil aviation authorities said the flight went from Serbia to Jordan. The aircraft, manufactured in the Soviet Union, was operated by the Meridian cargo airline. The airline’s website says it was founded almost 20 years ago and charter flights under “Contracts with governments and non-governmental organizations for the transport of humanitarian cargo, as well as close cooperation with the United Nations and NATO for the delivery of emergency transport, including military and double cargo“.
Serbian media point out that the An-12 took off from Nis and probably carried ammunition that the country exports to the Middle East, and the Belgrade-based “Politika” is owned by an American company but registered in Ukraine. The Serbian Army no longer has such aircraft, although it used to have two. one crashed near Yerevan on December 12, 1988, and the second was sold to a private airline in Bulgaria in 1998.
The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said the pilot alerted authorities to a problem with one of the planes airplane‘s engines and required instructions for an emergency landing. He had a choice of landing at Thessaloniki Airport or kavala and he chose kavalawhat was closer.
But communication with airplane was lost almost immediately afterwards.
An-12 crashed about 40 km west of the airport and 2 km from Paleochori in a difficult area.
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