On Saturday, 16th July, a Ukrainian cargo Antonov An-12 aircraft carrying munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed in northern Greece due to engine problems, killing all eight crew members on board.
The Antonov An-12, with registration UR-CIC, was transporting 11.5 tons of Serbian-made ammunition to Bangladesh, as reported by Serbia’s Defence Minister Nebojša Stefanovic. The aircraft had left Serbia at 18:36 UTC and crashed in Greece at around 19:30 UTC. In the final stages of the flight, the An-12 reached a descent rate of 3000-4000 feet per minute.
Witnesses reported that the aircraft had come down in a ball of flames before hitting the ground around midnight local time. The pilot had reportedly requested an emergency landing, after reporting the failure of one of the four engines. None of the eight crew members survived the crash.
Aimilia Tsaptanova, an eyewitness told reporters that she was amazed it hadn’t crashed into their homes.
“It was full of smoke, it had a noise I can’t describe and it went over the mountain. It passed the mountain and turned and crashed into the fields. There were flames, we were scared.”Aimilia Tsaptanova
Given the sensitive nature of the cargo, the locals in surrounding villages were asked to avoid moving out of their homes and wearing masks. Even though firefighters and fire engines were deployed to the crash site, they could not approach it initially because of the continuous explosions.
The Antonov An-12 was being operated by Meridian, a Ukrainian cargo airline and the aircraft was supposed to reach its final destination of Dhaka with intermediate stops in Amman, Riyadh and Ahmedabad.
Feature Image: AP