At least 16 people were killed in a helicopter crash outside Ukraine capital Kyiv this morning, including Ukraine’s interior minister and three children, according to an official.
Video of the immediate aftermath showed a large fire as screams could be heard from the scene.
There was no immediate information on what caused the crash or whether it was believed to be an accident or related to Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
Local officials earlier put the death toll at 18, and Zelenskyy made it clear that the casualty toll was still being confirmed.
President Zelenskyy said in a statement posted on social media that the crash had caused him “unspeakable” pain.
I have instructed the Security Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the National Police of Ukraine and other authorized bodies, to find out all the circumstances of what happened,” he said on his feed on the Telegram messaging app. “As of this minute, 3 children died.”
Monastyrsky, a 42-year-old father of two, was appointed interior minister in 2021.
He’s the most senior Ukrainian official to lose his life since Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago, according to the Reuters news service.Twenty-two people were hospitalized, including 10 children.