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Plane crashes in Ukraine killing 5 on board

KIEV (Reuters) - A small chartered plane flying from the Czech Republic to Kiev crashed near the Ukrainian capital on Sunday killing all five people on board, Ukraine´s emergency ministry said. The plane crashed near Kiev´s second and smaller airport, Zhulyani, in a field 300 meters (yards) from a main road. No one on the ground was hurt, the ministry´s spokesman said.

Jan Padourek, first secretary at the Czech Embassy in Kiev, told Czech television the five victims were Czech citizens.
A Reuters witness said there was a destroyed barn in the middle of the field, and that sections of a wing, engine and some seats were scattered in the area.
A body was seen lying in the field near pieces of wreckage, which had torn up the grass. The plane appeared to have destroyed the barn as it crashed.
\"Five people died,\" the emergency ministry spokesman said. \"There were five people on board -- two pilots and three passengers.

\"This was a small plane which was flying to Ukraine and 3 km (1.9 miles) from Zhulyani it dropped off the radar screens,\" he said. The ministry later said the Beechcraft plane likely crashed due to human error, but gave no further explanation. One witness, a security guard at a nearby storage facility, said he heard an explosion and saw the small plane burning.

\"We ran down there. Straight away we saw four bodies. We thought maybe someone was alive, but they had no chance. It was too late,\" Mykola Zubchenko told television crews.
The passengers were a manager of a Czech manufacturing company, his wife and another woman, Interfax cited a transport ministry official as saying.
Czech TV quoted a Czech embassy official in Kiev as saying the plane came from the eastern Czech city of Hradec Kralove.

(Reporting by Natasha Zinets, Serhiy Karazy in Kiev and Jan Lopatka in Prague, Writing by James Kilner and Sabina Zawadzki, Editing by Caroline Drees)
Reuters, 09.12.2007
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