Ukraine Helicopter Crash Kills Interior Minister And Others

A helicopter carrying the Ukrainian Interior Minister crashed on Wednesday near a kindergarten in a residential neighborhood in the city of Brovary, kyiv region, in the middle of fog, killing the official and at least others. 13 people, including a child who was in the place.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported that at least 14 people were killed, nine of them on board the helicopter, and one child on the ground. Likewise, at least 25 injuries are reported, including 11 children.

The first official reports have given different numbers of fatalities, reaching a total of 18.

The National Police of Ukraine stated that five Interior Ministry officials were killed in the accident, including the minister’s deputy, Yevhen Yenin, and the secretary of that ministry, Yuriy Lubkovych; a national police officer and three members of the helicopter crew.

kyiv regional governor Oleksii Kuleba told Ukrainian television that emergency services were still identifying remains and that the number of victims could increase.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the country’s police and emergency services, is the highest-ranking official killed since the start of the war nearly 11 months ago.

It was not immediately known whether the helicopter crash, which occurred on a foggy morning in the eastern suburb of Brovary, was an accident or war-related. The Ukrainian authorities immediately opened an investigation.

The Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelensky, affirmed that the accident has a broad relationship with the war, while he addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, which takes place in Switzerland, by videoconference.

“This is not an accident because it has been due to war and war has many dimensions, not just on the battlefields,” he said after asking the Davos audience to stand for a minute of silence in honor of the deceased. “There are no accidents in wartime. All this is a result of the war.”

Recently, there has been no fighting in the kyiv region, noted media reports.

In the same speech via teleconference, Zelensky declared that the West should send more aid to his country and make decisions more quickly, while he urged Western countries to provide Ukraine with air defense systems and tanks more quickly.

“It is too early to talk about the reasons” for the crash, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat said, adding that an investigation could take at least several weeks.

“Unfortunately, the sky does not forgive mistakes, as the pilots say, but it is too early to talk about the causes,” added Ignat.

Three Possible Hypotheses

The Ukrainian Security Service handles three possible hypotheses: a technical failure of the device, that the pilot failed to comply with flight safety regulations or that it is a deliberate action.

At the scene, debris was scattered over a children’s playground. Emergency workers rushed in a fleet of ambulances to advance their work in the middle of a place dampened by rain.

In the first minutes after the helicopter crashed, several bodies dressed in blue Interior Ministry uniforms and black boots were lying on the site, visible from under the foil blankets that covered them. A large part of the helicopter fell on a car.

A new interior minister has already been appointed, the head of the Ukrainian National Police, Ihor Klymenko, the Ukrainian government announced.

Ihor Klymenko, still in his police role, wrote on Facebook that the helicopter belonged to Ukraine’s state emergency service. Other officials said it appeared to be a French Eurocopter Super Puma.

The spokesman for the country’s Air Force, Yuri Ignat, specified that the Super Puma model helicopter was assigned to the State Emergency Service. He said that such devices were handed over to all Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.

According to RT en Español

According to RT en Español, the modified model H225 (or EC 225) of the Super Puma helicopter that crashed this Wednesday was bought by the Ukrainian authorities in France in 2018.

In total, the supply of 55 helicopters of the H145, H125 and H225 models was planned. Paris gave part of the total sum of 551 million euros to cover the purchase on credit, reported the portal

The H225 model had a series of technical defects, for which the manufacturer Airbus Helicopters faced several lawsuits for “an inherent problem in the main gearbox,” the specialized magazine Vertical reported in 2016.

The media pointed out that the helicopters in question suffered from “a catastrophic failure” that resulted in the separation of the main rotor from the fuselage.

These findings were published after the crash of an H225 off the coast of Norway in April 2016, which killed 13 people. In a similar disaster in 2009, an AS332 L2 Super Puma model crashed off Scotland after a fuselage rotor separated. In that tragedy, 16 people lost their lives.

Following the 2016 accident, civil aviation authorities in many countries, including Norway, the UK and the US, issued temporary flight bans for the H225 and AS332 L2 variants.

However, the restrictions were lifted in the summer of 2017, after Airbus Helicopters claimed to have made modifications to the helicopters and their maintenance to address the flaws.

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