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Firefighting plane crashes in southern Turkey, all 8 on board dead

August 14, 2021 at 5:07 pm

A photo shows the wreckage of Be-200 firefighting plane linked to Turkey’s General Directorate of Forestry after it crashed in Kahramanmaras, Turkey on 14 August 2021. [TUR Agriculture And Forestry Min. – Anadolu Agency ]

A firefighting plane linked to Turkey’s General Directorate of Forestry crashed in the southern province of Kahramanmaras on Saturday, killing all eight people on board, Anadolu reports.

Contact was lost with the plane which had been rented from Russia to help Turkey’s efforts to contain a forest fire in Kahramanmaras, Governor Omer Faruk Coskun told Anadolu Agency.

A large number of search and rescue teams were dispatched to the region, added Coskun.

The cause of the crash remains unknown.

In a separate statement, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the Russian Be-200 amphibious plane crashed while landing near Turkey’s Adana province following a firefighting mission.

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All five Russian and three Turkish servicemen on board the plane were killed in the crash, the statement said.

A special commission of the Russian Defense Ministry as well as the employees of the Russian Embassy in Turkey are heading to the place for the investigation, it added.

The plane was sent to Turkey on July 8 to help Turkey fight the wildfires.

Be-200 is the world’s biggest amphibious plane designed specifically for fighting fires, including in remote areas, it can carry 12 tons of water.