A military plane crashed on the night of Sept. 25 in Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine, near the town of Chuguyev some 450 kilometers east of Kiev.
Twenty-two people were killed, said by the police
Two passengers were rescued. They suffered serious injuries and were taken to a hospital. The search continues for four more people.
An Antonov An-26 transport aircraft carried students of the Kharkiv Aviation University of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
There were 28 people on the board, 21 of whom were military cadets, according to early reports from the Interior Ministry.
The plane crashed during landing around 9 p.m. and took fire. As of 10 p.m., the fire was put down.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will go to the site of the disaster on the following day, Sept. 26.
“A horrible tragedy,” Zelensky wrote on Facebook. “We are immediately starting a government commission to investigate what caused it.”
Chuguev has a military airfield, the 203 Training Aviation Brigade, where young pilots and technicians are deployed to for training. All military pilots in Ukraine are trained at the Kharkiv Aviation Institute, which is located less than 40 kilometers from the crash site.
The Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop military transporter (NATO reporting name Curl) was designed and built in the late 1960s at Kyiv-based Antonov manufacture. It entered service in Soviet Air Forces in 1973, and over 1,400 aircraft of the type were produced.
It is often considered one of Antonov’s most successful designs in the class of military transport aircraft due to its well-proven framework and low operational failure record.
Despite its age, the type is still exploited by numerous militaries around the world, mostly by post-Soviet nations