At least 17 people died, including four children, after an official helicopter crashed on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi died on Wednesday when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed near a kindergarten on the outskirts of Kiev . The fatal accident left 16 other people dead , including four children, authorities said.
Monastyrskyi had been overseeing the work of the country’s national police and emergency services for 11 months. He is the highest-ranking official killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.
At least 30 other people, including 12 minors , were injured in the incident that occurred in the city of Brovary, on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. The State Emergency Services of Ukraine (SES) reported that “17 people were found dead, including 4 children and the 9 people who were on board.”
In addition to the Minister of the Interior, the First Deputy Minister, Yevheniy Yenin , and the Secretary of State, Yuriy Lubkovychis , also died in the accident, as confirmed by Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to the ministry, on his social networks.
For now, it is still unknown if the incident was due to an accident or if it was an attack related to the war, since the helicopter was flying in the middle of a foggy area . The Ukrainian authorities assured that an investigation into the facts had already been opened.
First images of fatal helicopter crash in kyiv
The head of the Kiev Regional Military Administration, Oleksii Kuleba , explained that the helicopter fell near a kindergarten and a residential building : “at the time of the tragedy, children and employees of the institution were in the kindergarten. At that time, everyone was evacuated,” Kuleba said.
In networks, the Ukrainian authorities shared videos and photographs of the tragic scene, where the flames come out of a destroyed structure and a residential building.
For its part, the Security Service of Ukraine reported on its Telegram channel that it was considering at least three possible causes of the accident , including a malfunction, a violation of flight rules or “deliberate actions to destroy the vehicle.”
According to the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko , the Ukrainian interior minister was heading to a “hot spot” of the war when the helicopter crashed.
“Today I was going to meet them and shake their hands… I wasn’t just going to see leaders, but friends I respected and hoped to see […] Words fail me, I can’t believe this!” added.
In a written statement, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called the incident “a terrible tragedy,” adding that he had ordered Ukraine’s Security Services to find out “all the circumstances” surrounding the helicopter crash.
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