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PROVARY, Ukraine, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s interior minister and other senior officials were killed on Wednesday when a helicopter crashed in a suburb outside Kyiv, killing 16 people, the national police chief said.
The helicopter crashed near a nursery in Brovary town on the capital’s eastern outskirts. Officials said two children were among the dead and 10 people were hospitalized
Authorities had no immediate account of the cause of the crash, and there was no immediate comment from Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February.
Denis Monastyrskyi, the interior minister responsible for police and security inside Ukraine, is the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.
National police chief Ihor Klymenko said Monastyrsky, his deputy and other senior ministry officials were killed.
“Children and… staff were in the nursery at the time of the tragedy. All have now been evacuated. There have been casualties,” Kyiv Region Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote in a telegram.
Reuters reporters at the scene found several bodies covered in plastic sheets in a yard near the damaged building.
Videos shared on social media showed the burning building and people could be heard screaming. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage.
“We are finding out information about the casualties and the circumstances,” Kyrillo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, wrote in a Telegram.
Report by Reuters Bureau; Written by Grant McCool and Himani Sarkar; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Angus MacSwan
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