Four dead as plane makes emergency landing in Ukraine

Four dead as plane makes emergency landing in Ukraine

DONETSK - Agence France-Presse
Four dead as plane makes emergency landing in Ukraine

Investigators, firefighters and Emergencies Ministry members work near the damaged Antonov 24 turboprop plane near the airport in Donetsk, February 13, 2013. At least four people were killed when a plane carrying 45 passengers and crew crash-landed in fog in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk late on Wednesday, officials said. REUTERS photo

At least four people died when an Antonov AN-24 plane with dozens of football fans on board made an emergency landing Wednesday in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, officials said.

"Most passengers have been rescued. Right now, we have four dead," local governor Andrey Shyshatsky told reporters at the airport.

Dmytro Verbytsky, one of the survivors, told Interfax news agency the passengers were on their way to Donetsk to watch a match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund.

Emergency situations ministry spokesman Volodymyr Ovsyanyk told AFP there were 45 people on the plane, operated by domestic airline Yuzhne Avialinii.

The plane was flying from the resort city of Odessa in the south when it overturned and began breaking up upon landing at Donetsk airport.

Twelve people were injured in the accident, according to the governor. One person was missing while one was found under the debris of the plane "and we don't know yet whether he is alive or not," he said.

A local security source had earlier said that the plane overturned and wound up in a field some 700 metres (yards) from the airport runway.

It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft had skidded off the runway after landing or whether it had overshot the runway, local media said, adding that there was heavy fog at Donetsk airport at the time of the accident.

The Antonov AN-24 is a twin-engined 50-capacity propellor plane dating from the Soviet period, with more than 1,000 built between 1959 and 1979.

The planes are still widely used for regional flights in former Soviet countries.