On the night of July 16, a Ukrainian An-12BK transport plane crashed in Greece. The plane fell 16 km west of Kaval airport, which is located in Greece. The plane was designed to transport cargo. The aircraft was on a Nis-Amman flight, flying from Serbia to Jordan. It was supposed to make two stops for technical reasons in Riyadh and Ahmedabad. Eventually, the plane was supposed to fly to Bangladesh.
When the aircraft entered the airspace of Greece, one of its engines caught fire. The plane’s crew made the decision to land in Kavala for an emergency landing. The plane has since disappeared from the air traffic control radar and went down near Mt. Pangei. The plane’s crash was recorded at 7:47 p.m. local time. Locals in the area confirmed the crash.
There was a crew of eight Ukrainians on the plane, none of whom survived. This information was later confirmed by the general director of the Meridian airline, to which the plane belonged.
The airplane was flying for over 50 years, and the cumulative flight time was equal to 40000 hours. It is worth mentioning that the plane wa by Meridian Air Cargo since 2022. Before this flight, the airplane made several flights in the Balkans, also flew between Sarajevo, Paris, Belgrade, and Ankara. After Ankara, it flew that ill-fated flight MEM3032 from Nis.
After the plane crash and a series of rescue efforts, residents and eyewitnesses reported a rather strange white plaque on the wings of the plane. The white plaque represented a hazardous chemical substance. The entire load totaled 11.5 tons. Locals were told to lock their windows and doors and to turn off their air conditioners. The Greeks also set up a special team to investigate the incident. Greek media wrote that white powder was found at the crash site, but rescue services said Sunday evening that they found no hazardous substances.
«We are talking about heavy smoke and heat and a white substance that we cannot yet identify, so the SWAT team has to let us know what it is and if we can get to the scene» – said Northern Greece Fire Brigade Lieutenant General Marios Apostolidis.
Two firefighters have been hospitalized due to lung problems. The Greek Foreign Ministry is very unhappy about the incident and is already preparing to sue Serbia for lack of information about the hazardous chemicals. Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the shipment was privately owned by Valir, and transported training ammunition for the army of Bangladesh. The shipment just flew out now, but the contract was signed back in 2011. The buyer was officially the Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh.
The shipment is owned by a small company with an even larger company owned by Slobodan Tesic, an arms dealer. Tešić has been under U.S. sanctions for years. He works with different clients from different countries, so it is not surprising that the package was sent to Bangladesh.
However, there are now all sorts of versions. One of the simplest versions is the transportation of phosphorus ammunition or chemically hazardous substances for deliveries to Syria, and the more confusing ones are arms deliveries to the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) by Serbia.
There are several unclear points in the story at once. Why and because of what the Greek firefighters were hospitalized and whether there is a connection between the AFU and the Ukrainian crew, what substances were on the plane and why the rescue services said there were no chemicals, and where are all 8 bodies of the dead crew.