Ukrainian Interior Minister Killed in Helicopter Crash Near Kyiv

BROVARY, Ukraine (Reuters)—Fourteen people including Ukraine’s interior minister and a child were killed when a helicopter crashed in fog near a nursery outside Kyiv on Wednesday, in what President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called a “terrible tragedy”.

After the helicopter crashed into a Brovary, northeastern of the capital, several bodies fell to the ground.

The entire nursery building was set on fire by the crash. Governor of Kyiv said that children and staff were present in the nursery when the crash happened shortly after 08:00 GMT.

Officials stated that it was too early for them to pinpoint the cause of the crash. None spoke of an attack by Russian forces waging war in Ukraine.

“We saw wounded people, we saw children. There was a lot of fog here, everything was strewn all around. We could hear screams, we ran towards them,” Hlib, a 17 year-old local resident, said this.

“We took the children and passed them over the fence, away from the nursery as it was on fire, especially the second floor,” He said that he was near the nursery where people left soft toys and flowers at a small memorial.

The national police chief confirmed that Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi had been killed along with his first deputy, Yevheniy Yenin, and the ministry’s state secretary. Monastyrskyi was 42 and had been interior minister since July 2021.

Hours after the crash, the government named national police chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister.

The State Emergency Service estimated that 14 people were killed, including the helicopter crew and six other onboard. It said that one child died on the ground, and 11 others were among 25 people injured. The agency had previously reported a higher number, but this was revised down by the agency without explanation.

Vitaliy (56-year-old resident) said that he saw the helicopter crash quickly onto the lawns of the nursery at the centre of a residential court. According to Vitaliy, the debris continued on its way to a nearby block.

Later, the wreckage of the helicopter was crushed by an apartment block and rotor blades rested against the entrance.

The gaping hole extending several feet from the charred entry to the two-storey nursery was visible above.

“There wasn’t an explosion. It was probably a rocket engine or similar. I believed it to be about 10 feet in diameter.

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