A Ukrainian cargo plane carrying 11 tons of munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed in northern Greece late Saturday. The munitions had been bought by the Bangladeshi defense ministry.
Explosives disposal experts have been called to the scene. Authorities will not be able to retrieve the Meridian airline plane’s black boxes until the disposal experts finish their work.
Ukrainian officials have confirmed all eight Ukrainian crew members died in the crash near the city of Kavala.
Local residents said they heard explosions for nearly two hours after the crash. They also said they saw the plane engulfed in a ball of fire before it crashed.
“I wonder how it didn’t fall on our houses,” Aimilia Tsaptanova, told journalists. “It was full of smoke, it had a noise I can’t describe and went over the mountain. It passed the mountain and turned and crashed into the fields.”
The pilot had asked Greek aviation authorities for permission for an emergency landing, but Greece lost contact with the plane soon after the request.
Initial reports of the crash said the plane’s destination was Jordan, but officials say that the plane was headed to Jordan’s Queen Alia international airport only to refuel