Five killed in plane crash in Ukraine

09:28, 10 December 2007
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The charter plane was flying from the Czech Republic

A charter plane flying from the Czech Republic crashed near Kiev airport in Ukraine Sunday, killing all five people on board, officials said, according to AFP.

"According to preliminary information, five people were killed, all of them foreigners," Igor Krol, spokesman for Ukraine`s emergency situations ministry, told AFP.

He said the private civilian plane tumbled from the sky and caught fire at about 1500 GMT.

"The airplane exploded in flight just as it was readying to land," said an airport employee, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing witnesses.

She described the plane as having less than 10 people on board.

But several experts at the site of the crash rejected the employee`s version, saying the plane instead blew up after it crashed into a shed just before landing. They said the two crew members and three passengers aboard the aircraft perished.

The aircraft had splintered into small pieces scattered around the shed that was almost entirely destroyed.

Czech public television reported that the plane was registered in Germany and had taken off from the eastern Czech town of Hradec Kralove.

The assistant state secretary at the Czech embassy in Ukraine, Jan Padourek, told the broadcaster in a live link that five Czechs were on the plane.

"I can confirm according to information received from the (Ukrainian) ministry for emergency situations that there were five Czech citizens (on board)," he said.

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