Antonov plane with 8 crew members crash in Kavala, N. Greece (videos)
An Antonov airplane with 8 crew members crashed off the city of Kavala, Northern Greece, about an hour before Saturday midnight. The plane was flying from Serbia to Jordan with reportedly 12 tons of dangerous material. Eyewitnesses said that the plane was on fire when it came down.
The Antonov-12 crashed in a corn field, in Palaiochori, some 25 km west of the airport of Kavala, while it was trying an emergency landing.
No one seems to have survived the crash.
Forces from Police, the Army, the Fire Service and its rescue service EMAK as well as several ambulances have rushed in the area, they remain, however, at distance to the crash site due to secondary but ongoing explosions.
Due to safety protocols, search and rescue operation will start when explosions have stopped and once it has cargo content has been determined first.
Unconfirmed information speak of “12 tons of ammunition” that the cargo plane was transporting to Jordan.
“We saw the aircraft flying low with the engine on fire. We believed it would manage to land at the nearby Amygdaleonas military airport,” a witness told GRTimes.
The plane on fire captured by meteocamera – via Forecast Weather
Several witnesses even at a distance of 40 km away from the crash told media that they saw an “object on fire in the night sky, coming down.”
According to preliminary information, the plane was over Mt Athos, when the pilot notified the tower in Kavala airport that it had lost its fourth engine. He asked and received permission for an emergency landing.
The pane’s last mark was given 10 nautical miles west of Kavala. The plane of Meridian Air Cargo has left Nis in Serbia for Amman. Earlier on Saturday it had flown from Ankara, Turkey, to Nis, Serbia, media reported.
According to Skai TV, after sending MAYDAY, the pilot told airport tower he would attempt a “belly landing”, meaning it had also problem with its wheels system.
“The plane sent a distress signal to the tower of Kavala but did not manage to get there. It is very far from the airport’s area of responsibility and therefore we do not know more details,” Public Relations Manager, of Kavala airport managing company Fraport Aglaia Polioudaki, told GRTimes.
Residents of the area speak of continuous explosions after the time of the crash. Locals in the area told Skai TV that there is a “very strong, penetrating smell” in the air.
The crash caused a power outage in the surrounding area of the Municipal of Eleftheroupolis.
According to latest information, the Civil Protection is about to send an evacuation for preventive reasons message via <112> to residents near the crash site, which is around 1 km away from the first houses of Paliochori and a second message regarding the movement in the area.
As authorities are trying to find out the exact content of the cargo and the possible danger, the Army is about to create a “safety zone of several hundreds meters” around the crash site.
there is reportedly recommendation to residents in the areas to close windows and A/C to avoid the gasses from the explosions.
2:50 a.m. Sunday and it seems that authorities on the ground still do not have information about the exact cargo of the plane.
State broadcaster ERT has only confirmed that 8crew members were onboard and that it was carrying “12 tons of ammunition” with no further details.
A member of the local municipality told ERT that the explosions lasted 2 hours after the crash.
Safety zone around the crash site is of one kilometer diameter.