No fewer than eighteen people have been killed, including Ukraine’s interior affairs minister, after a helicopter crashed beside a kindergarten in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv.
Three children were among the dead and 15 more are being treated in hospital.
The minister, Denys Monastyrsky, was with eight others in the helicopter.
His first deputy minister and the state secretary also died, officials said, when the helicopter came down in the suburb of Brovary.
National police chief Ihor Klymenko wrote on Facebook that the helicopter belonged to Ukraine’s state emergency service.
The head of Kyiv’s regional military administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, said the tragedy in Brovary had left 29 hurt as well as 18 dead.
After the crash a fire broke out close to the kindergarten and children and staff were moved from the building. Wreckage from the helicopter was visible outside a burning building.
It was dark and foggy at the time of the crash and initial reports suggest the helicopter hit the kindergarten before crashing close to a residential building.
Two other senior figures from the interior ministry were killed alongside Mr Monastyrsky. Yevgeny Yenin was first deputy minister while Yuriy Lubkovich was state secretary.
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