A helicopter crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv region has killed at least 16 people, including Ukraine’s Interior Ministry leadership team aboard the plane and three children on the ground, officials said.
At least 30 people, including 12 children, were treated in hospital after the incident in the city of Brovari on Wednesday, Kirillo Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s chief of staff, said.
Tymoshenko lowered the death toll in the crash on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital from 18 earlier.
Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin and State Secretary Yuriy Lubkovychis died, Interior Ministry adviser Anton Geraschenko confirmed on social media.
All nine people on board the helicopter (six government officials and three crew members) were killed, and seven people on the ground, including three children, were killed, Tymoshenko said.
A CNN team on the ground in the Kyiv region noticed gray skies and very low visibility.
The helicopter that crashed was a Eurocopter EC225 “Super Cougar,” a CNN producer confirmed after seeing remnants of the flight manual among the debris.
Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, said earlier that the plane landed near a kindergarten and a residential building.
“There were children and staff in the kindergarten when the tragedy happened. At this moment, everyone was evacuated,” he wrote on Telegram.
Kuleba added that paramedics, police and firefighters were responding at the scene.
In a written statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the crash “a terrible tragedy,” adding that he had ordered Ukraine’s security services to “find out all the circumstances.”
Zelensky concluded the statement by saying the officials were “true patriots of Ukraine.” May they rest in peace! May all those who lost their lives on this black morning rest in peace! ”