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Ukraine: At Least 78 Dead In Air-Show Crash

Lviv, Ukraine; 27 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's Emergencies Ministry says at least 78 people were killed and more than 115 injured when a fighter jet crashed onto a crowd of spectators at an air show in western Ukraine. The Ukrainian fighter jet was conducting difficult maneuvers when it tail-spinned to the ground. Thousands of people had gathered at the aerodrome in the western city of Lviv to watch the show marking the 60th anniversary of a local air force unit.

The Emergencies Ministry said the two crewmen ejected and survived the crash and are being treated for injuries. Some of those injured were reported to be in critical condition.

The government has ordered a fact-finding committee to investigate the cause of the crash. President Leonid Kuchma broke off his vacation in the Crimea to fly to the scene of the crash. He has ordered a ban on all air shows in Ukraine.