Ukraine’s interior minister was among 16 persons killed after a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten outside the capital Kyiv on Wednesday, officials said.
Cries could be heard at the site, which was devoured by flames, in a video that surfaced online following the event.
The cause of the collision was not immediately known.
“At this time, 16 persons are known to have died,” said Igor Klymenko, the chief of national police.
Several top interior ministry officials were killed, including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky and his first deputy minister, Yevgeniy Yenin, he claimed.
Monastyrsky, a 42-year-old father of two, was appointed interior minister in 2021.
Twenty two people were hospitalised including 10 children.
Officials said that at the time of the crash children and employees were in the kindergarten.
Medics and police were working at the scene.
The scene of the crash in the town of Brovary is located some 20 kilometres (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv.
Russian and Ukrainian forces fought for control of Brovary in the early stages of Moscow’s invasion until Russia’s troops withdrew in early April.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24 last year.
The crash came on the heels of a tragedy that saw 45 people including six children die when a Russian missile struck a residential building in the eastern city of Dnipro at the weekend.
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