All 8 crewmembers of Ukrainian cargo plane die in crash in Greece - AP
BERLIN. July 18 (Interfax) - The crash of an Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft of Ukraine's Meridian airline in Greece has killed all of its crewmembers, Associated Press reported with reference to Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Stefanovic said the plane was carrying 11.5 tonnes of Serbian-made mortar munitions to Bangladesh. It took off from the Serbian city of Nis and was to stop over in Jordan's capital Amman.
The plane crashed not far from the city of Kavala in northern Greece late on Saturday.
Shortly before the accident, a pilot reported an engine malfunction and received clearance to land at the Kavala airport. However, the plane crashed about 40 kilometers away from the airfield, according to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority.
A special unit of the Greek Armed Forces in charge of handling nuclear, biological, and chemical materials is expected to examine the crash site for the possible presence of explosive or chemical substances.
Because of a strong smell emanating from the crash site, an ad hoc coordination committee comprised of officials from the local municipality, police, and fire service recommended that the residents of the two nearby populated areas keep their windows shut, stay at home, and wear facemasks as a precautionary measure.