Lviv, Ukraine, Jan 18 (EFE).- At least 17 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and several other senior officials as well as four children, died on Wednesday after a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities reported.
Interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi’s aide, Yevhen Yenin, and the ministry’s state secretary, Yurii Lubkovych, were also killed in the crash in the town of Brovary, according to police.
Monastyrskyi, 42, is the most senior official to have died since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022.
“As a result of the crash in Brovary, the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine was killed. They were in the helicopter of the State Emergency Service,” the head of the national police, Ihor Klymenko, said.
Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, added that at least 25 people, including 11 children, had been taken to hospital with injuries.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel that the crash was a “terrible tragedy” and that “the pain is unspeakable.”
Zelenskyy’s office said that the helicopter was taking the officials to the front lines.
“The purpose (of the flight) was to make a working visit to one of the hot spots in our country. The Minister of Internal Affairs was heading there,” deputy head of the president’s office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said at a briefing, adding that nine people were on board, including the minister and other senior officials, according to Ukrinform.
An “urgent” investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin.
“We are considering all possible versions of the helicopter crash,” Kostin said on Telegram.EFE