Ukraine's first lady sheds tears at Davos over Kyiv helicopter tragedy that killed 14
The incident has been a blow to Ukraine as several members of the country’s interior ministry were aboard and died
January 19, 2023 9:15am
Updated: February 13, 2023 2:00pm
Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine broke into tears on Wednesday over the helicopter crash outside Kyiv that killed 14 people, including one child and the country’s interior minister.
Photos showed a teary eyed Zelenska while at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Unfortunately it’s just another horrible day for Ukraine,” Zelenska said. “From the outside it may seem that we must be used to it by now, but unfortunately we are not.
“On a personal level, the only thing I can say is that I personally knew the minister very well and for me this is particularly hard because it’s a personal blow as well.”
Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi died when the French-made Super Puma helicopter he was riding in crashed Wednesday. The helicopter went down into a kindergarten located in a Kyiv suburb called Brovary.
At first glance, Ukrainian authorities believed 18 had died from the fatal accident, but later concluded the number was 14.
A significant number of people, including children, were injured on the ground. Some suffered burns.
“We saw wounded people, we saw children. There was a lot of fog here, everything was strewn all around. We could hear screams, we ran towards them,” said one 17-year old Ukrainian man identified as Hlib in an interview with Reuters.
“We took the children and passed them over the fence, away from the nursery as it was on fire,” he explained.
Another witness, identified as Vitaly, told Reuters that he saw the helicopter quickly descend from above.
“I thought it was the engine from a rocket,” he said.
The incident has been a blow to Ukraine as several members of the country’s interior ministry were aboard and died.
Investigators are still probing what caused the helicopter to fail and are not certain at this stage if it was an accident or act of sabotage.