Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska wept Wednesday over the helicopter crash on the outskirts of Kyiv that killed 14 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and at least one child.
Photos showed Zelenska wiping her eyes as she attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Unfortunately it’s just another horrible day for Ukraine,” Zelenska said. “From the outside it may seem that we must be used to it by now, but unfortunately we are not.”
Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi was killed when the French-made Super Puma helicopter he was riding in crashed Wednesday. The helicopter plowed into a kindergarten in Brovary, a suburb of the capital city of Kyiv.
“On a personal level, the only thing I can say is that I personally knew the minister very well and for me this is particularly hard because it’s a personal blow as well,” Zelenska said.
Ukrainian authorities had initially reported 18 dead in the crash — that figure has since been revised to 14.
Dozens of people on the ground, including children, were reported injured, many with burns.
“We saw wounded people, we saw children. There was a lot of fog here, everything was strewn all around. We could hear screams, we ran towards them,” Hlib, a 17-year-old local, told Reuters. “We took the children and passed them over the fence, away from the nursery as it was on fire.”
Another witness, Vitaly, told the newswire that he saw the aircraft fall from the sky quickly. “I thought it was the engine from a rocket,” he said.
Several interior ministry officials were aboard the helicopter, which was operated by the Ukrainian SBU, the nation’s internal security service.
The cause of the crash was not immediately apparent, and the SBU said it was investigating possibilities such as a mechanical malfunction, pilot error or intentional destruction.
With Post wires