Ukraine: At least 17 dead in helicopter crash near Kyiv - Ukrainian Interior Minister among the dead

According to police, Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj died in a helicopter crash near the capital Kyiv.

Ukraine: At least 17 dead in helicopter crash near Kyiv - Ukrainian Interior Minister among the dead

According to police, Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj died in a helicopter crash near the capital Kyiv. In total, there were at least 17 fatalities after the crash near a kindergarten in the city of Brovary, which borders Kyiv, said the responsible regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba on Telegram. Among them are three children. 25 people were injured, including 11 children, it was said last. In the meantime, 18 dead had been mentioned. A widespread fire could be seen on videos from the crash site distributed in online networks.

According to Kuleba, there were children and employees in the kindergarten at the time of the crash. Rescue workers and police officers are on duty at the scene. Deputy Interior Minister Yehwhenij Jenin and a state secretary were also among the dead. The now killed 42-year-old Monastyrskyj was appointed interior minister in 2021.

Deputy head of the presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko told journalists in Brovary that the Interior Ministry leaders were on their way to one of the front sectors. He did not want to give any further details.

No information was initially released about the possible cause of the crash. The plane that crashed belonged to a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force for the government emergency service in Kyiv and was therefore the responsibility of the Interior Ministry.

According to Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat, it was an Airbus H225 helicopter. A commission will examine the causes. "It won't just take a day or two, because investigating a flight disaster takes a certain amount of time," said Ihnat. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) imposed a temporary flight ban on the H225 in 2016 due to safety concerns. The predecessor model AS332 was involved in several flight accidents.

Meanwhile, the first condolences came from Brussels: EU Council President Charles Michel expressed his condolences to the relatives of the victims. Monastyrskyj was a good friend of the EU, the 47-year-old wrote on Twitter.

The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz reacted with "great dismay". "This is a great tragedy for Ukraine, especially in the current situation in this country," Merz told journalists in Berlin on Wednesday. "Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and relatives, but also to the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, to whom I have already expressed my condolences, and to the entire Ukrainian people." He spoke of a very tragic incident.

Brovary is located around 20 kilometers from the center of Kiev. Ukraine has been fighting a Russian war of aggression for almost eleven months. There are repeated air alerts in the country because of Russian rocket and drone attacks. The capital Kyiv, like other parts of the country, was repeatedly the target of attacks.

Note: This article has been updated several times. Dead and injured figures have been updated.

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