A helicopter crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv region has killed at least 16 people, including the leadership team of Ukraine’s interior ministry who were traveling on the aircraft and three children on the ground, according to officials.
At least 30 others, including 12 children, are in the hospital following the incident in the city of Brovary on Wednesday, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration.
Tymoshenko has revised down the number of people killed in the crash on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital — the previous death toll was 18.
Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin and State Secretary Yuriy Lubkovychis died, Anton Geraschenko, a ministry adviser, confirmed on social media.
All nine people onboard the helicopter (six ministry officials and three crew members) were killed, leaving another seven dead on the ground, including three children, Tymoshenko said.
A CNN team on the ground in the Kyiv region noted gray skies and very low visibility.
The helicopter that has crashed was a Eurocopter EC225 “Super Puma,” a CNN producer confirmed after seeing remnants of flight manuals among the debris.
It landed near a kindergarten and a residential building, Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, said earlier.
“At the time of the tragedy, there were children and the staff in the kindergarten. At the moment, everyone was evacuated,” he wrote on Telegram.
Paramedics, the police and firefighters are responding at the scene, Kuleba added.
In a written statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the crash “a terrible tragedy,” adding that he has ordered the Ukrainian Security Services to “to find out all the circumstances.”
Zelensky ended his statement by saying the officials were “true patriots of Ukraine. May they rest in peace! May all those whose lives were taken this black morning rest in peace!”
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