A Ukrainian cargo plane carrying munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed in northern Greece Saturday, authorities said.
The plane was carrying Serbian-made mortar ammunition for Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Army, the Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate said Sunday.
"The mortar and training shells were bought under the Directorate General of Defence Purchase (DGDP) deal through a company. The consignment is covered by insurance," it added.
The An-12 cargo plane smashed into fields between two villages late Saturday as it was flying from Serbia to Jordan.
Locals reported seeing a fireball and hearing explosions for two hours after the crash. A plume of white smoke was still rising from the front end of the plane Sunday morning.
Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic told a news conference today that all eight crew members were killed.
"The plane was carrying 11.5 tons of Serbian-made mortar ammunition to Bangladesh, which was the buyer. It had taken off from the Serbian city of Nis and had been due to make a stopover in Amman, Jordan," he added.
The plane was operated by the Ukrainian cargo carrier Meridian, and the Ukrainian consul in Thessaloniki told local officials that the crew members were all Ukrainian.
"These were illuminating mortar mines and training (mines). ... This flight had all necessary permissions in accordance with international regulations," Nebojsa told AP.
Also read: Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in Greece
The plane crashed shortly before 11pm, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Kavala International Airport.
Minutes before, the pilot of the plane had told air traffic controllers that there was a problem with one of his engines and that he had to make an emergency landing. He was directed to Kavala airport but never made it there.
The plane is a Soviet-era four-engine turboprop cargo carrier.
Drone footage shows that small fragments are all that is left from the plane. Firefighters who rushed to the scene in the night were prevented from reaching the crash site by smoke and an intense smell that they feared might be toxic.
Nearby residents were told to keep their windows shut all night, not to leave their homes and to wear masks. Authorities said they did not know if there were dangerous chemicals on the plane, including those contained in batteries.