At least 22 people, most of them are air cadets, have been killed during a warplane crash in Ukraine, officials say.

The aircraft, an Antonov-26, fell near the eastern city of Kharkiv as it was landing. The plane was carrying cadets from Kharkiv Air Force University which was on a training flight. Ministry officials say 27 people were on board.

Two-person were seriously injured, and an inquiry operation is still continuing into the night for 3 missing people.

The reason behind the crash is being investigated.

The plane fell about 2km (1.2 miles) from a military airport in the town of Chuhuiv, the emergency ministry officials say.

There is no suggestion that the crash is linked to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Chuhuiv is about 100km (60 miles) from the battlefront where government forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

The fire broke out at the location and was later extinguished.

“It’s a shock,” Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko told AFP press agency. “At the instant, it’s impossible to determine the cause.”

An investigation is underway. President Volodymyr Zelensky is due to travel to the region on Saturday.

Kharkiv regional governor Oleksiy Kucher said preliminary information suggested that one of the pilots had reported failure in one engine before the crash, but that this should not have been a critical situation, in line with the Interfax-Ukraine press agency.

An eyewitness told Reuters press agency he had seen a person in flames running from the wreckage.

“Another car stopped behind us. We took a fireplace extinguisher and ran with another driver to assist him,” he said.

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