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DONETSK, February 14 (Itar-Tass) – The AN-24 passenger plane that crash-landed in Donetsk on Wednesday, although in service for 40 years, had no technical problems, Alexander Vilkul, the head of the government probe into the air crash, told a news briefing on Thursday.
Vilkul, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, says that the aircraft, built in 1973, always underwent regular maintenance on time. He also noted that the crew had all necessary permissions and flight certificates.
“All crew members are alive and well. There were 52 people on board, 47 of them have been rescued, five died, and 26 passengers turned for first aid. Nine of them suffered moderate traumas and were sent to hospital. The survivors’ lives are not in danger,” Vilkul said.
The governor of the Donetsk Region, Andrey Shishatsky, said that one of those injured is about to undergo a radial bone fracture surgery, adding that at present most of the passengers from the flight had already left Donetsk by plane, car or train.
Vilkul said that all airport units, medical personnel and emergency reaction teams acted promptly.
“Everybody acted in concert and on time,” he said. Vilkul offered condolences to the bereaved families and promised that the Cabinet would make a decision to provide financial assistance.
He added that all Southern Airlines charter flights were suspended for the time being. The inquiry will name the cause of the AN-24’s crash only after it has studied data from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, commonly known as ‘black boxes.’