Europe

Five killed as plane crash-lands in eastern Ukraine

  • 13 February 2013
  • From the section Europe

At least five people were killed when a plane carrying football fans attempted an emergency landing and caught fire in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

The Antonov AN-24 plane was on an internal charter flight from the Black Sea resort of Odessa, with more than 40 people on board.

It overshot the runway at Donetsk airport. Most of those on board escaped as the plane caught fire.

Twelve people were injured. The cause of accident was not immediately clear.

However, one report said the airport was shrouded in thick fog at the time.

The twin-engine turboprop was carrying supporters travelling to a Champions League football match in the city, between Shakhtar Donetsk and Germany's Borussia Dortmund.

A minute's silence was held before the game which ended in a 2-2 draw.

'Tin can'

The Ukrainian emergency situations ministry said the plane had overshot the runway as it made the emergency landing at Donetsk's Serhiy Prokofiev International Airport.

The plane then caught fire and broke up.

A number of politicians and businessmen from the Odessa region were on board.

A local police source told the AFP news agency that the aircraft came to rest about 700m (2,300ft) from the runway.

"We collided with the ground, then the plane opened up like a tin can," one passenger told Ukraine's Kanal 5 TV.

"Thanks to the crack that formed in the fuselage, we were able to get out of the plane before it caught fire."

The survivors were later ferried by bus to the airport.

Reports in Ukrainian media said the aircraft was operated by Pivdenni Avialinii (South Airlines), which is based in Odessa.