Experts are set to investigate the site of a plane crash in northern Greece to determine if any dangerous chemicals or explosive cargo remain.
AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece filed an official complaint with Serbia on Monday after a cargo plane carrying mortar munitions crashed while attempting an emergency landing in northern Greece.
“The Greek ambassador in Belgrade has been instructed to file a complaint with the Serbian (government) to stress the need for the Greek authorities to be informed in advance about the nature of the cargo,” a government official said. Greek who requested anonymity pending a responsible person. announcement.
Eight crew members of the An-12 cargo plane, operated by a Ukrainian company, were killed in the crash on Saturday outside the town of Kavala in northern Greece. The accident was followed by at least two hours of explosions.
Serbian officials said the plane was carrying 11.5 tons of Serbian-made mortar ammunition in Bangladesh and was due to stop in Amman, Jordan.
Sweeping crews were working at the crash site for a second day, in a cordoned off field about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Kavala International Airport. Ammunition was scattered within a radius of 500 meters (yard) and was expected to take several days to clear.
Fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios said no hazardous substances were detected following an inspection of the crash site by Army specialists from a nuclear defense division, chemical and biological.
All of the deceased crew members are believed to be Ukrainian nationals, Artopios said. Their recovered remains were taken to the nearby town of Komotini to begin the identification process.
The crash caused power outages in several villages near the crash site as repair work was delayed by the removal of munitions, electricity regulator officials said.
Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on Sunday the ammunition was made by a private Serbian manufacturer, adding that the plane was also due to stop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Ahmedabad, India, before departing. reach the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.
Derek Gatopoulos reported from Athens.