MOSCOW — A military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in northeastern Ukraine on Friday evening, killing at least 22 people on board, officials said.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, the military said in a statement, adding that at least two more people were critically injured.
Video posted by Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko on Facebook showed the plane in flames near a road, smoke billowing upward.
Footage taken later showed rescue workers inspecting the smoking wreckage near the town of Chuhuiv.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the crash.
One pilot reported failure in the left engine of the twin-engine plane, said Oleksiy Kucher, the governor of the Kharkiv region, according to Interfax Ukraine, adding this would not have been a critical situation for an experienced pilot.
Citing preliminary information, Mr. Kucher said that some of the people on board managed to jump out of the plane when it was at low altitude.
An eyewitness who was driving along the road toward Chuhuiv told Reuters he saw a man in flames running from the plane after it crashed.
The crash happened around 1.2 miles from a military airport, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement. It said 27 people had been on board.
The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the defense ministry.