Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov An-12 crashes near Lviv

A Ukraine Air Alliance An-12. © Alec Wilson

A Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft has crashed on approach to Lviv Airport, Ukraine on Friday at around 7am local time.

The aircraft with the registration UR-CAH departed from Vigo Airport in Spain with 7 crew members and one cargo supervisor on board. Contact with the 51 year-old plane was lost on approach to the Ukrainian airport and it was later found crashed about 1.5 kilometers short of the runway. Lviv Airport was temporarily closed following the accident, but has since reopened.

Ukrainian emergency services report that five of the eight people on board were fatally injured and three others were transported to a hospital with serious injuries. Initial reports from the Ukrainian government suggest that the aircraft ran out of fuel shortly before landing.

It was not immediately clear what cargo the An-12 was transporting. The plane was due to continue to Istanbul after a planned stopover in the Ukrainian city.

Ukraine Air Alliance was founded in 1992 and currently has a fleet of eight aircraft, all of which were manufactured by Antonov. It operates both scheduled cargo flights as well as charter flights mainly to Europe, Asia and North America.

The Antonov An-12 is an Ukrainian heavy transport aircraft which first flew in 1957 as a military aircraft and was later also adapted to civilian operations. It can carry a total payload of around 20 tons, making it similar to the American-built C130 Hercules. In total, 1248 Antonov An-12 were built and some still remain in use for heavy-lift operations.