November 28, 2020

Two killed as plane crash-lands in eastern Ukraine

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_65876836_ukraine_odessa_donetsk_0213At least two people were killed when a passenger plane crash-landed and caught fire near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, officials have said.

The Antonov AN-24, a twin-engined turboprop which had 45 people on board, was on an internal flight from the Black Sea resort of Odessa.

The aircraft is reported to have overshot the runway at Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev International Airport.

The fate of four people who had been on board was unknown, the officials added.

The incident took place hours before a Champions League football match in the city between Shakhtar Donetsk and Germany’s Borussia Dortmund.

‘Thick fog’

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted the Ukrainian emergency situations ministry as saying the plane overshot the runway as it attempted an emergency landing at Donetsk’s airport.

It is believed the crew evacuated the plane at least partially before it caught fire.

A local police source told the AFP news agency that the aircraft came to rest about 700m (2,300ft) from the runway.

Emergency situations ministry spokesman Volodymyr Ovsyanyk said that of the 45 people on the plane, 39 had been rescued, two had been found dead and the condition of four others was unknown.

Local reports said the aircraft was operated by Yuzhne Avialinii (South Airlines), which is based in Odessa.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. However, one report said the airport was shrouded in thick fog at the time.

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