Russian firefighting plane crashes in Turkey; 8 killed
A firefighting plane from Russia crashed Saturday in a mountainous area in southern Turkey, killing the eight crew members and emergency workers aboard, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, AP reported.
The Russian ministry said five Russian and three Turkish citizens were on the amphibious Beriev Be-200, which crashed while trying to land in Turkey’s Adana province. A team to investigate the accident was dispatched to the Kahramanmaras area, Turkish state media said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the families of the Russian crew who died in the crash and asked the defense minister to prepare documents to give them posthumous awards. The crashed plane belonged to the Russian navy.
Putin also sent a telegram of condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the death of the Turkish citizens, saying that “Russians together with Turks are dealing with the natural disaster that happened in your country and we feel unity in grief.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted he was greatly saddened by the deaths and said their “heroic sacrifices” would not be forgotten.
Turkey has fought some 300 wildfires in the last 16 days that have killed eight other people, consumed forests and homes and sent thousands fleeing.