A cargo plane crashed near the northeastern Greek city of Kavala on Saturday evening. There were eight crew members on board. No one survived the accident. The Ukrainian Antonov cargo plane had taken off from the Serbian city of Nis and was en route to the Jordanian capital of Amman. Obviously the most dangerous cargo is cause for concern.
The cargo plane was reportedly loaded with twelve tons of “toxic material” and the air was filled with toxic fumes. Rescue workers also said they were loaded with explosives. Journalists at the scene were urged to wear masks due to the risk of toxic fumes. Residents in the area were asked to keep their windows closed and not to run their air conditioners.
Eyewitnesses had earlier reported that several explosions occurred immediately after the plane crashed. Firefighters quickly left, and special forces in protective suits moved in. Two firefighters were taken to hospital with respiratory problems.
The crew announced an emergency landing at Kavala Airport and were operating the plane when it crashed in an uninhabited area near the village of Paleochori. Meridian Air Cargo’s Antonov plane has reportedly had engine trouble before. The pilot reported engine failure.
Numerous videos circulating on the internet show the engine burst into flames before the crash in the air. Videos show a flying fireball, followed by violent explosions as Antonov hits the ground.
Eyewitnesses from Paleochori village told reporters that it was very lucky that the plane did not crash into a residential area. Antonow ran very close to the houses. In the crash, the plane also damaged power poles, causing a temporary power cut in the surrounding villages.
Ukraine machine carrying ammunition from Serbia?
The mayor of the affected municipality of Pangio, Philippos Anastasiadis, confirmed that the machine had loaded “dangerous goods” that night. It was probably explosives, he told state broadcaster ERT and assured that there were no chemical or nuclear warfare agents. Army is on its way to the accident site.
For several hours after the crash, explosions were heard from the burning remains of the plane. Antono’s ruins are said to be spread over a radius of 800 meters, and the area is surrounded by a large area.
Of course, speculation quickly spread wondering why a plane from Ukraine would be carrying weapons from Russia’s ally Serbia. Experts said on television that terms such as “toxic materials” could refer to a variety of things, such as ammunition, weapons, but also batteries for military purposes, which release toxic gases in a fire. (Case/SDA)
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