Crashed Ukrainian Cargo Plane Carried Shipment of Ammunition for Bangladesh

Ukrainian foreign ministry officials on Sunday traveled to inspect the site where a Ukrainian cargo plane crashed overnight in northern Greece, en route from Serbia to Jordan and on to Bangladesh.

The envoys will help local authorities and emergency services investigate the accident, ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said on Facebook. No dangerous elements have been detected by Greek authorities, an official from Greek Fire Service said Sunday afternoon. Two dead bodies have been recovered so far, he added. Eight crew, all Ukrainian, were on board.

Greece’s state-run ERT television reported that the Antonov AN-12 cargo aircraft went down late Saturday near Kavala. The flight was operated by Ukrainian cargo carrier Meridian.

On Sunday, Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the plane had been carrying Serbian-made mortar ammunition purchased by Bangladesh, the Associated Press reported.

Bangladesh confirmed the contents of the cargo as “training mortar shells procured from Serbia for the Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh, under a contract with the Directorate General of Defense Purchase through a contractor.”

The consignment was insured, and contained no weapons, Bangladesh said.

The Meridian AN-12BK, a Soviet-era four-engine turboprop, was en route from Nis, Serbia, to Amman when it turned back toward land after heading out across the Aegean Sea, flight-tracking site Flightradar24.com reported.

Eyewitness accounts and video appear to show fire prior to it impacting the ground, the tracking site said.

–With assistance from Arun Devnath.

Photograph: The crash site of an Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft in Greece, on July 17, 2022. Photo credit: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images