Jan 18 (Moscow Times/ AFP) – At least 17 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister, have been killed in a helicopter crash near a kindergarten outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday.
The aircraft fell in the town of Brovary, some 20 kilometers northeast of Kyiv, while children and staff were inside the kindergarten, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, who was onboard the helicopter with other ministry officials, was killed in the crash, Ukrainian national police chief Igor Klymenko said in a statement on social media.
Sixteen other people were killed, including two children, Tymoshenko said.
At least 22 people, 10 of whom are children, have been hospitalized with injuries.
The cause of the crash is unclear.
All students and staff have been evacuated from the building, the head of the Kyiv regional administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, said on his Telegram channel.
Police and medics are working at the scene of the crash, he said.
Images shared by former presidential spokesperson Iuliia Mendel showed a charred rotor and the rest of the helicopter wreckage outside an apartment building entrance.
Another photo showed a person showing no signs of life lying face-down beside a children’s playground.
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.
The crash comes days after a Russian missile hit a residential building in the central-eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, killing at least 45 people, including six children.