Meridian Antonov AN-12BK plane crash
The Antonov AN-12BK operated by Meridian Ltd took off from Nis, Serbia, for a cargo flight to Amman, Jordan. 8 crewmembers were onboard. While over the Aegean Sea, the aircraft gradually began losing altitude after reaching 21,000 feet (6300 meters). The crew reported engine trouble. The Antonov initiated a 180-degree turn to make an emergency landing in Kavala, Greece. The plane reached the coastline 12 minutes later, then made a right hand turn toward Kavala airport. Then, the descent rate increased up to an abnormally high value of 3000-4000 feet per minute (900-1200 meters per minutes). The plane crashed at 17 NM (31 kilometers) west of the airport and burst into flames. All the 8 occupants were killed.
A video shows the aircraft in flames descending fast before hitting the ground in what appeared to be an explosion. The plane crashed in a field near Paleochori Kavalas village. Rescuers sent drones to the crash site as it was initially unclear what was carried by the Antonov, and it was believed to be hazardous materials. Multiple explosions were heard after the accident. It was later confirmed that aircraft carried 11.5 tons of Serbian made weapons (mortar, land mines, and training shells) purchased by Bangladesh's Defense Ministry. The plane was heading to Amman, Jordan, for a technical stop, and its destination was Dhaka, Bangladesh. The transport was in line with all international law and had all relevant permits.
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