A Ukrainian government helicopter crashed next to a kindergarten on the outskirts of Kyiv on Wednesday morning, killing several government officials onboard and people on the ground, which includes children.
Update: Death toll revised down
In the best news that could be hoped for, perhaps, with such stories the official death toll has been revised down again to 14 in the wake of today’s helicopter crash. Earlier in the day, it had been as high as 18. Thankfully, the number of children said to have been killed after the craft hit the ground next to a school has also been revised down to one.
The BBC reports the Ukranian state security service is investigating the cause of the incident, with possibilities including malfunction, accident, and sabotage. It is reported the crash happened in the dark, while there was a power cut in Kyiv, implying it is possible the pilot may simple not have seen a building while flying low.
Read the original story below:
At least 15 people were killed by a helicopter crash in Brovary, a suburb to the east of Ukrainian capital city Kyiv on Wednesday morning, tragically among the dead are several children.
The government helicopter was reportedly carrying the Ukrainian interior minister Denys Monastyrsky to the frontline when it crashed, the wreckage appearing to have come down in a Kindergarten play area before starting a large fire. Interior Minister Monastyrsky, his ministerial deputy Yevhen Yenin, State Secretary for the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych, and at least three children are among the 15 reported dead.
While the number of injured reported has varied wildly according to different sources, the Ukrainian government’s own press portal reports 29 injured including 15 children.
There is no indication yet whether the crash was due to mechanical failure, pilot error, or enemy action. The BBC reports the remarks of a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman who says the investigation will likely take days.
Interior Minister Monastyrsky, who was reportedly a close ally of Ukrainian President Zelensky, is the most senior member of the government to have been killed in the war triggered by Russia’s invasion last year. Tributes have already been made for the politician. Zelensky said of the crash: “Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in Brovary, Kyiv region. A SES (state emergency services) helicopter crashed, and a fire broke out at the crash site. The pain is unspeakable.”
Ukrainian MP Mariia Mezentseva spoke from Davos, which is presently hosting the World Economic Forum, and said: “My first feelings when I saw the news It thought that this was fake,” she said, “but unfortunately it is true… He was responding 24/7 to his colleagues, friends and family and we will always remember him as a very bright smiley, friendly, patriotic person and a civil servant of Ukraine… he was very close to President Zelensky, being next to him from day one at the start of his campaigning.”
British foreign minister James Cleverly said of the death of Monastyrsky: “Tragic news of the helicopter crash in Ukraine this morning… Denys was a true friend of the UK. We are ready to support Ukraine in whatever way we can.” Suella Braverman, who as Britain’s Home Secretary serves in the equivalent role to Monastyrsky said: “This is truly heart-breaking. Interior Minister, Denys Monastyrsky was a leading light in supporting the Ukrainian people during Putin’s illegal invasion and when we spoke in October I was struck by his determination, optimism and patriotism… My thoughts go out to all those who have died in this horrible tragedy and their families. The UK will always stand with our Ukrainian friends.”