The turboprop plane crashed late on Friday as it was about to land at an airfield outside the town of Chuguev. The governor of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kucher, said that according to preliminary information, 22 of the 28 people on board were killed.
Most of the plane has seemingly disintegrated upon impact and in the subsequent fire, disturbing imagery circulating online suggests. The tail section of the plane, however, remains largely intact.
The local governor also added that, of the 28 people on board, seven were military officers and 21 were cadets with the Kharkov National Air Force University.
Kucher said that there have been two confirmed survivors – both heavily burnt, with one in critical condition. The fate of the remaining four is unclear, they could have managed to jump from the plane before it crashed, the governor said.
Local media have cited military sources who said the plane crashed due to engine malfunction. The pilot allegedly reported one of the engines breaking down shortly before the impact.
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