Russian firefighting craft crashes in Turkey

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A Russian aircraft deployed to Turkey to fight wildfires crashed on Saturday, killing all eight crew on board.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that five of the aircraft’s crew members were Russian and the other three were Turkish nationals.

The Be-200 amphibious aircraft crashed as it was about to land near the southern city of Adana.
A commission from the Russian Defense Ministry has been sent to the crash site to establish the causes of the accident.

Private news agency DHA said the plane crashed as it was fighting a forest fire in the inland Bertiz region [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]
The plane crashed as it was fighting a forest fire in the inland Bertiz

The governor of the southern Kahramanmaras, Governor Omer Faruk Coşkun said: “We had dispatched a plane to the area but we lost communication with the plane a while ago and it crashed. The situation is very new. We dispatched many units to the area where the plane crashed.”

Images of the crash site showed charred wreckage littered across mountainous terrain with only the aircraft’s tail apparently still intact.

Turkey is one of many countries around the Mediterranean Sea that has battled devastating wildfires as the region experiences a relentless heat wave. At least eight people have been killed in the fires in Turkey, while more than 30 have died in floods in the northern provinces near the Black Sea in recent days.

Scientists say the climate crisis is making heat waves, fires and flooding more regular and intense.

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