Kiev, Sep 27 (IANS) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared a day of mourning for the 26 victims on board a military plane that crashed last week.

The accident took place on September 25 when the plane, a twin-turboprop Antonov-26 belonging to the Ukrainian Air Force, carrying seven crew members and 20 cadets of a military aviation school crashed and burst into flames, the Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said in a news report.

The crash took place shortly before landing at the Chuhuyiv airport in Kharkov region, some 400 km east of the capital Kyiv.

The toll reached 26 on Saturday after two more bodies were found amidst the debris. One person survived the crash.

On Saturday, Zelensky, after visiting the crash site, declared September 26 to be a day of mourning for the crash victims and ordered the suspension of Antonov-26 flights pending a probe into the cause of the crash.

He also called for a full assessment of the condition of the country’s military equipment, while Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has ordered for the submission of an official report on the crash by October 25.

Meanwhile, Kharkov’s Regional Governor Alexei Kucher said on Saturday that the plane’s flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have been recovered, TASS News Agency reported.

“As far as I know, the flight recorders have been seized but they are not examined yet. I know for sure that about 45 seconds or a minute before the crash, the pilot was talking with the flight controller and they were discussing a possibility of the landing,” he was quoted as saying.

Kucher hoped that the data from the flight recorders would be decoded very soon.



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