A cargo plane with eight people on board crashed near the city of Kavala in northern Greece at around 11:00 pm on Saturday, the Hellenic Fire Service has confirmed.
The Antonov An-12 was owned by a Ukrainian company and was flying from Serbia to Jordan carrying twelve tons of hazardous materials, local officials told Greek public broadcaster ERT.
The pilot of the crashed plane had reportedly requested an emergency landing due to an engine problem, but the aircraft’s signal was lost before ground control could respond.
ERT is also reporting that approaching the wreckage is prohibited to everybody, including fire fighters, for fear of toxic fumes. The area has been cordoned off, and military will be attending the scene with special forces and pyrotechnicians in the first morning light.
Residents of nearby areas were advised to keep their windows shut and turn off air conditioning.
The power supply of the surrounding towns was interrupted after the first explosions were heard.
The Hellenic Fire Service said it had deployed fifteen firefighters and seven fire engines to put out the blaze that broke out after the crash while more rescuers were on their way.
Witnesses reported they saw the plane erupt into flames while descending to the impact area, and subsequent explosions continued for two hours.