• publish: 15 November 2015
  • time: 10:17 am
  • category: International
  • No: 2198
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Ukrainian civilian helicopter crashes, seven Afghans killed

A Ukrainian civilian helicopter that illegally entered Slovak airspace and crashed on Wednesday killed eight people aboard including a Ukrainian pilot and five men and two women from Afghanistan, the Ukrainian interior ministry said on Saturday.

Slovak authorities have said an unidentified helicopter was detected in Slovak airspace on Wednesday night. They said Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed that any aircraft had crossed the border, which is also the EU’s eastern border.

Officials launched a search operation but due to heavy fog found the crash site only on Friday, ministry spokesman Ivan Netik said.

“The Mi-2 helicopter with Ukrainian markings was flying at a low altitude in very bad weather conditions, as if it was trying to avoid being detected,” Netik said.

Documents in Arabic were found at the site which point to the victims being from Afghanistan, he said.

The ministry said it was working with Ukrainian authorities to investigate and has hinted that people smuggling may have been involved.

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