Ukraine plane crash death toll rises to 26

by BERNAMA / pic credit: Anadolu Agency

MOSCOW – The death toll in Friday’s military plane crash in Ukraine now stands at 26, according to Anadolu Agency quoting the country’s Interior Ministry.

“As of 12:15 p.m. (0915GMT), the bodies of 25 victims were found at the crash site in the Kharkiv region. One person died in hospital and one person is injured and remains in hospital,” the ministry said in a statement.

There were 27 people – seven crew members and 20 cadets – on board the An-26 military plane when it crashed on approach for landing in Chuhuiv, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital Kyiv.

Only one cadet, who jumped out at the last moment, has survived the crash and is in hospital with moderate injuries.

Authorities are investigating four probable preliminary causes – faulty engine, improper performance of duties by the crew, improper performance of duties by persons responsible for flight control, and improper maintenance of the aircraft and its preparation for flight.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared a day of mourning in the country on Saturday to honor the victims.