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Top Ukrainian officials and others, including children, killed as a helicopter crashes near a nursery in Brovary, outside Kyiv.
At least 16 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and two children, have been killed in a helicopter crash near a nursery outside the capital, Kyiv.
Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych were among those killed on Wednesday, according to Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine’s National Police.
It was not immediately clear what caused the helicopter to crash in the town of Brovary.
The regional governor said 29 people were also hurt, including 15 children.
“There were children and…staff in the nursery at the time of this tragedy,” Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram.
Several dead bodies draped in foil blankets lay in a courtyard near the damaged nursery. Emergency workers were at the scene. Debris was scattered over a playground.
Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler reporting from Kyiv said that the deaths are a “huge blow” for the country “on a government level”.
“This is Ukraine’s interior minister, one of the highest posts in the country; his deputy,” Butler said. “These are key figures in Ukraine’s government at a time when the government is at war with Russia, so this will be a huge blow to the country no doubt.
“You can only imagine some of the conversations happening right now, in Kyiv in those government circles as to what’s going to happen next.”
Monastyrskyi, responsible for the police and security inside Ukraine, would be the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.