Search plane looking for Ukrainian jet crashes
December 20, 1997
Web posted at: 4:16 a.m. EST (0916 GMT)
ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- A Greek military plane searching for the wreckage of a Ukrainian airliner has crashed north of Athens, a defense ministry official said Saturday. All five people aboard the C-130 transport plane were feared dead.
"We are afraid there are no survivors," the official told Reuters.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Witnesses told the ministry that the plane flew directly into a mountainside.
Greek soldiers search the mountains outside Katerni, near Salonica, Greece
The official said emergency crews had been dispatched to the scene to comb the site for possible survivors. "We've just spotted the crash site. Defense ministry staff are rushing there," he said.
The plane was transporting search crew personnel from a military airport near Athens to northern Greece. The names of those on board were not immediately released.
The Ukrainian plane it was searching for vanished from radar screens on
Wednesday with 70 people aboard, and search efforts were stymied by snow and fog. But on Saturday, a Greek military helicopter spotted the downed jetliner on a slope near Mount Olympus.
"Land forces are rushing there now and our first concern is
whether there are any survivors," a Greek official said.