The Antonov An-12 aircraft was traveling from Serbia to Jordan with 12 tons of dangerous cargo on board. The aircraft crashed near the village of Paleochora in Greece.
The aircraft belonged to a Ukrainian airline and was operating a commercial transport flight. Local authorities ordered the fire service to withdraw from the crash site for a kilometer as the toxicity of the cargo is unknown, Greek television ERT reports.
Before the An-12 crashed, the pilot sent a distress signal to the Kavala airport and informed the dispatcher about the engine failure.
Judging by the footage, the plane caught fire while still in the air. A series of powerful explosions followed after the crash.
The Greek authorities asked local residents to close windows in their homes and refrain from the use of air conditioners.
It was later reported that the Ukrainian An-12 aircraft that crashed in Greece was carrying nearly 12 tons of "defense products" from Serbia. The airplane was heading to Bangladesh, Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said.
"The plane that crashed in Greece at night, the An-12, was carrying 11.5 tons of our defense industry products for Bangladesh. Unfortunately, all eight crew members were killed," he said at a briefing.
The An-12 took off from the Serbian city of Nis at 20:40 (21:40 Moscow time) on Saturday. It was carrying Valir company products on board. The aircraft was owned by Ukraine's Meridian LTD.
"The Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh was the buyer — a fully authorized end user and a legal buyer. The plane was bound for Bangladesh with technical landings in Amman, Riyadh, Ahmedabad, with the end point is Dhaka. The flight had all the necessary documents and permits," the Serbian minister said.
According to eyewitnesses, the burning plane crashed into a corn field between the villages of Antifilippi and Paleochori in the Elefteroupoli area, a few kilometers from the Kavala airport.
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