Russian Firefighting Plane Crashes in Turkey

A Russian firefighting plane crashed in southern Turkey on Aug. 14, killing all eight crew members on board, officials said.

According to a statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Be-200 aircraft crashed after being deployed to help Turkey fight wildfires, killing five Russian servicemen and three Turkish specialists on board.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the aircraft was due to land near the Turkish city of Adana, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

TASS also reported that the Defense Ministry sent a commission to investigate the causes of the accident.

Omer Faruk Coskun, the governor of the southern Kahramanmaras district in Turkey, told Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency that they had dispatched a plane to the area but lost communication before the Russian aircraft crashed.

“The situation is very new. We dispatched many units to the area where the plane crashed,” Coskun said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu expressed his condolences and said their “heroic sacrifices” would not be forgotten.

Putin awarded five of the servicemen killed in the crash with the Order of Courage “for bravery, courage and commitment while extinguishing wildfires in the Republic of Turkey.”

Turkey has been battling wildfires in recent weeks, destroying forests and homes and sending thousands of people fleeing.

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