At least 15 people were killed, including Ukraine’s interior minister and his top deputies, when a helicopter crashed into a kindergarten in a Kyiv suburb Wednesday, Ukraine’s authorities said.
Three children were among the dead.
Interior Minister Denys appears to be the most senior Ukrainian official killed since the start of the war in Ukraine. His first deputy Yevgeny Yenin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lubkovich, their assistants and the helicopter crew were among the dead, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram.
Nine of those killed were aboard the chopper when it crashed in Brovary, an eastern suburb of the Ukrainian capital. The others who died were apparently on the ground. Twenty-five people were injured, including 10 children, Zelenskyy said.
“Unspeakable pain,” he said. “Bright memory to everyone whose life was taken by this black morning.”
Zelenskyy said the national police and security services were working to determine the cause of the crash. There was no initial information indicating the helicopter was shot down. Images posted on social media from near the scene appear to suggest it crashed close to a residential building after hitting the kindergarten.
Ukraine’s national police said the helicopter belonged to the country’s state emergency service.
At the World Economic Forum session in Davos, Switzerland, Ukraine first lady Olena Zelenska fought back tears, and forum President Borge Brende, of Norway, requested 15 seconds of silence after opening the session to honor the crash victims.
Contributing: Associated Press