AP

Cargo plane operated by Ukraine carrier crashes in Greece

Jul 16, 2022, 2:39 AM | Updated: 6:01 pm

Flames are seen at the site of a plane crash, a few miles away from the city of Kavala, in northern...

Flames are seen at the site of a plane crash, a few miles away from the city of Kavala, in northern Greece, Saturday, July 16, 2022. An Antonov cargo plane operated by a Ukraine-based air carrier crashed Saturday near the city of Kavala in northern Greece, authorities said. Greek Civil Aviation authorities say the flight was heading from Serbia to Jordan, but have not been able to confirm how many people were on board or what the plane's cargo was. (Ilias Kotsireas/InTime News via AP)

(Ilias Kotsireas/InTime News via AP)

PALAIOCHORI, Greece (AP) — An Antonov cargo plane operated by a Ukrainian airline crashed Saturday near the city of Kavala in northern Greece, authorities said. Local residents reported seeing a fireball and hearing explosions for two hours after the crash.

Greek Civil Aviation authorities said the flight was heading from Serbia to Jordan. The An-12, a Soviet-built turboprop aircraft, was operated by cargo carrier Meridian.

Greek media reported there were eight people on the plane and that it was carrying 12 tons of “dangerous materials,” mostly explosives. But local officials said they had no specific information on the cargo and provided varying numbers of people on board.

As a precaution because of a strong smell emanating from the crash site, a coordinating committee made up of municipal, police and fire service officials told inhabitants of the two localities closest to the crash site to keep their windows shut all night, to not leave their homes and to wear masks. Authorities say they do not know if there were dangerous chemicals on the plane, including those contained in batteries.

Greece’s Civil Aviation authority said the pilot managed to alert authorities about a problem in one of the plane’s engines and he was given the choice of landing in either the Thessaloniki or Kavala airports, and he opted for Kavala, which was closer, saying that he had to make an emergency landing.

Communication with the plane ceased almost immediately afterwards. The plane crashed about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the airport.

“We were hearing explosions until a few minutes ago,” Filippos Anastassiadis, mayor of the municipality of Paggaio, told the Associated Press a little over an hour after the accident. “I am about 300 meters from the site of the crash.”

One of Anastassiadis’ deputies told state broadcaster ERT that explosions were heard for two hours following the crash.

Locals reported seeing a fireball and a plume of smoke before the crash.

ERT reported that army and explosive experts were en route to the site, located on farmland close to two villages that are part of the Paggaio municipality. But they are not expected to start working before dawn. Experts from Greece’s Atomic Energy Commission will join them.

The fire service has cordoned off the area at a radius of about 400 meters. The cordoned-off area will be expanded at dawn, fire service officials said.

——

Nellas reported from Athens, Greece.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: A delegate wears a hat with pins during the Republican National Convention Monday, July 15, ...

Christine Fernando, Steve People and Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Rep. Walsh speaks for Washington as cheering GOP delegates nominate Trump for president

Cheering GOP delegates formally nominated Donald Trump for president at Monday's Republican National Convention kickoff.

8 days ago

Photo: Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former Presi...

Jill Colvin, Julie Carr Smyth, Steve Peoples and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate

Donald Trump named Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate, choosing a onetime critic who became a loyal ally.

8 days ago

trump assassination...

Ayanna Alexander, The Associated Press

What to know about Trump assassination attempt and the investigation into the shooting

Authorities want to know how a shooter was able to get on top of a roof so close to where former President Donald Trump was speaking and open fire.

8 days ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

9 days ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday,...

Will Weissert and Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

In primetime address, Biden says country must not go down road of political violence

President Joe Biden says “we can’t, we must not go down” the road of political violence in America after the attempted Trump assassination.

9 days ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thu...

Zeke Miller, Seung Min Kim, Lisa Mascaro and Colleen Long, The Associated Press

Biden says during news conference he’s going to ‘complete the job’ despite calls to bow out

Biden used his highly anticipated news conference to deliver a defense of his policies and batted away questions about his ability to serve.

12 days ago

Cargo plane operated by Ukraine carrier crashes in Greece