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No dangerous substances for public health found at plane crash site: Greek authorities

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-07-18 10:13

Photo taken on July 17, 2022 shows plane debris scattered in a field near Kavala city in northern Greece. [Photo/Xinhua]

ATHENS -- No traces of dangerous substances for public health have been found at the site of the plane crash in northern Greece, according to the test results, Fire Service spokesperson Ioannis Artopoios told a televised press briefing on Sunday.

He added that all 8 crew members on board the Antonov 12 plane were deceased, with one body already recovered.

Greek authorities were put on alert after a Ukrainian cargo airplane crashed near Kavala city on Saturday evening.

Residents of nearby communities were asked to stay indoors, according to an e-mailed press release of the Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Ministry, as special units of disaster personnel were scanning the area around the crash site for dangerous wreckage.

The plane had departed from Serbia's Nis to Bangladesh's Dhaka with stopovers at Jordan's Amman, Saudi Arabia's Riyadh and India's Ahmedabad, carrying 11.5 tons of "dangerous goods", according to an e-mailed press release from Greece's Civil Aviation Authority.

Serbian authorities announced earlier on Sunday that it was transferring ammunition for training purposes, Greek national broadcaster ERT reported.

The aircraft's pilot had requested permission for an emergency landing, notifying Greek authorities of fire in one of the engines, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

The Greek Foreign Ministry expressed deep sorrow over the plane crash and sent condolences to the families of the 8 victims.

Special units of disaster personnel, military units specialized in nuclear, biological and chemical defense, pyrotechnics and firefighters dispatched to the crash site had taken precautions also due to toxic fumes, as Greece's General Secretariat of Civil Protection had advised locals to close their windows and doors in the first hours after the crash.

Some of the first emergency responders complained of irritation to the eyes and mouth of firefighters after coming in contact with an unidentified white substance and two were transferred to a local hospital with respiratory problems, Fire Service officer Marios Apostolidis, had told ERT.

Eyewitnesses had seen the plane in flames crashing in a corn field, some 500 meters away from a residential area, and explosions followed.

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