- BBC News World
At least 17 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister, two other top officials in the ministry and several minors, died Wednesday when a helicopter crashed near a nursery in eastern Kiev.
Officials indicated that the helicopter crashed near the suburb of Brovary, killing nine people on board, and other deaths, including three children, occurred on the ground.
30 people, including 12 children, have been hospitalized.
Interior Minister Denis Monastirsky, 42, He traveled by helicopter with his First Deputy Minister with him State Secretary.
Monastyrskyi is the most high-profile person killed in Ukraine since the country’s war began following an invasion by Russia in early 2022.
Kyrillo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said the minister was on his way to the “hot spot” of the war when the helicopter crashed. Later, Kharkiv police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko indicated that officers were moving to the city in eastern Ukraine.
In a Facebook post, Tymoshko said: “Today I’m going to meet them and shake hands… I’m not just going to see the leaders. But to friends I respect and look forward to seeing.
“Words fail me, I can’t believe this!” She added.
Although some witnesses blamed war for the disaster, there were no indications that it could have been anything other than an accident.
“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, there were no lights in the buildings when there was no electricity,” local resident Volodymyr told the BBC.
The 42-year-old interior minister was a leading member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s cabinet.
He has been instrumental in informing the public about the casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
A helicopter was also present, according to reports in Ukraine Six ministry officials and three committee members.
First Deputy Minister Yevan Zhenin died along with State Secretary Yuri Lubkovich, whose task was to organize the ministry’s work.
Before moving to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Jenin was the representative of the Ukrainian government abroad.
“There was a big flash,” said a woman who gave her name as a kindergarten teacher.
“Before that, there was a sound of something flying in the air and we all went quiet. Then after the flash, we heard an explosion. We fell to the ground and then quickly ran out to a shelter,” he said.
After the accident, a fire broke out near the kindergarten And children and staff were moved outside of the building.
“Parents were running in panic, screaming,” said Lydia, a local volunteer.
The remains of the helicopter were found in front of the burning building.
National police chief Ihor Klymenko wrote on Facebook that the helicopter belonged to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, while other officials said it appeared to be a French Eurocopter Super Puma.
Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Ministry, said the officers on board the helicopter were friends and worked to strengthen Ukraine.
“We will always remember them. Their families will be taken care of,” he wrote on Facebook.
President Zelensky, for his part, described them as “true patriots”.
I remembered that You can get notifications from BBC Mundo. Download and activate the latest version of our apps so you never miss our best content.
“Wannabe web geek. Alcohol expert. Certified introvert. Zombie evangelist. Twitter trailblazer. Communicator. Incurable tv scholar.”