Fire Brigade early Sunday resumed search operation at the site where late Saturday crashed an Antonov cargo aircraft in Paggaio region, west of Kavala, northern Greece.
The mayor of Paggaio Filippos Anastasiadis in an announcement on Sunday banned the movement of people and agricultural vehicles in the farming areas of Antifilippi and Paleochori as the number of plane debris that are scattered in the area as well as the hazard nature of the cargo are yet unknown. The local authorities are expecting the arrival of a Hellenic National Defence General Staff special cross section team for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence which will check the white dust that is scattered around the plane wreckage.
The Defence Minister of Serbia Nebojsa Stefanovic in a press conference said that the Antonov was carrying 11.5 tons of mortar shells and training shells with destination Bangladesh. The aeroplane took off at 20:40 carrying training mortars from the airport of Nis, Serbia for Dhaka, Bangladesh with mid stops at Amman and Riyadh.
He also said that the export of the cargo was legal and had the approval of the Serbian Defence Ministry.
Greek authorities said there were eight crew members onboard. A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman said they were all Ukrainian citizens.
Witnesses said to Athens-Macedonian News Agency that the Antonov caught fire while still in the air and that they had heard explosions as it flew over the area on Saturday night while authorities said the pilot had made an emergency call before crashing.