Greece has sent a formal complaint to Serbia for not promptly informing it about the tons of military equipment on board a cargo plane that crashed in northern Greece on Saturday night. Explosions could be heard long after the crash, which killed all eight people aboard.
The Antonov An-12 plane, operated by a Ukrainian company, had taken off from Serbia with eight crew members and was transporting nearly twelve tons of military material produced in the country when it crashed, the Serbian Defense Minister later confirmed. It reportedly had mortars and training shells, Reuters said. The plane was headed to Bangladesh with a planned stopover in Amman, Jordan.
Greece’s Complaint to Serbia Over Plane Crash
“The Greek ambassador in Belgrade has been instructed to make a complaint to the Serbian (government) to stress the need for Greek authorities to be notified in advance about the nature of the cargo,” a Greek government official said on Monday, according to several media outlets.
Explosions could be heard for two hours after impact, witnesses said.
The Greek Army’s biodefense unit was called to the crash scene outside the northern Greek city of Kavala to assess the toxicity risk from the hazardous material believed to have been scattered around the perimeter following the collision.
Special forces were reported to have arrived at the location in the early afternoon on Sunday. No radioactive or otherwise dangerous material was detected around the debris, an official said.
The dead crew members were believed to be Ukrainian nationals, the Associated Press reported.
Local TV network ENA published drone videos depicting the inferno and an aerial view of the crash site on Sunday morning.
Greece’s Recent History of Plane Crashes
In the last 25 years, Greece has recorded a significant number of plane crashes and incidents involving cargo, commercial, and passenger aviation claiming lives and considerable losses in goods and other items.