A man lays flowers at the site where a helicopter crashed Wednesday near a school in Brovary, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, killing a cabinet minister and many others, including children. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Ukraine's interior minister and five other top officials were among more than a dozen people killed in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.
Minister of Internal Affairs Denis Monastirsky, was killed in the crash in the city of Brovary, east of Kyiv along with his first deputy Eugene Yenin, the ministry's State Secretary Yuri Lubkovich, Deputy Head Tatiana Shutyak, Lt. Col. Mikhail Pavlusko and leading inspector of Communications Mykola Anatsky, the National Police said.
Three helicopter crew members were also killed including aircraft commander Alexander Vasylenko, aviation pilot Konstantin Kovalenko and onboard mechanic spokesman Ivan Kasyanov.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement that search and rescue operations had been completed and a total of 14 people were found dead, including one child. Earlier reports had placed the death toll at as high as 18.
Another 25 people, including 11 children were injured.
"We express our condolences to all the family and friends of the dead colleagues, civilians, and children," the Internal Affairs Ministry said on Facebook.
Ukraine's National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko was appointed as the interim minister of internal affairs, the National Police said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an investigation into the cause of the crash.
"I have instructed the Security Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the National Police of Ukraine and other authorized bodies, to find out all the circumstances of what happened," Zelensky said in a statement.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Zelensky's head of office, also offered condolences.
"Undeniable tragedy," Podolyak said on Twitter. "The helicopter crash killed Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, MIA leadership, and children. Denys and his colleagues played a big role in ensuring Ukraine's defense."
The State Emergency Service said in a statement on Facebook that the helicopter had "repeatedly been involved in the task of transporting personnel to emergency situations."
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, tweeted the EU joins Ukraine in grief.
"Minister Denys Monastyrsky was a great friend of the EU. We share our deepest condolences with the families of the victims."