A helicopter explosion near a children’s school in Kyiv region has killed at least 18 people, including the entire team of Ukraine’s interior ministry, according to government officials.
At least 29 people were injured in the incident on Wednesday in the city of Brovary, outside the Ukrainian capital, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration. Kuleba wrote on Telegram that three children are among the victims.
Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, Deputy Prime Minister Yevheniy Yenin and Secretary of State Yuriy Lubkovychis also died in the crash, Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to the ministry, confirmed on social media.
Geraschenko added that investigators are determining “the cause of the tragedy.” He added that everyone on the helicopter was “patriots of Ukraine.”
A CNN team on the ground in the Kyiv area noted gray skies and low visibility.
The crashed helicopter was a Eurocopter EC225 “Super Puma,” a CNN producer confirmed after seeing the remains of the pilot’s manuals among the debris.
It landed near a kindergarten and a residential building, Kuleba said earlier.
“At the time of the accident, there were children and staff at the kindergarten. Meanwhile, everyone has been evacuated,” he wrote on the Telegraph.
Paramedics, police and firefighters are responding to the scene, he added.