A Beriev-200 firefighting aircraft rented from Russia and utilized by the Adana Forestry Regional Directorate crashed into the Kısık Valley in Kahramanmaraş’s Onikisubat District. A lightning strike in the wooded area caused the fire to start. The Kahramanmaraş Regional Directorate of Forestry dispatched 10 water sprinklers and 100 firefighting personnel to the area in response to the notification.
The Be-200 and two helicopters were dispatched from Adana to help put out the fire that had begun in the woodland region. After draining the water while fighting the fire, the BE-200 aircraft was unable to ascend and crashed into the mountain.
Locals in the region posted a slew of videos online depicting the moment of the tragedy. The aircraft crashes, disappears from view on a hill, and a cloud of smoke rises into the sky, according to the footage. Governor of Kahramanmaraş, Ömer Faruk Coşkun, made the first formal statement about the incident.
“We deployed a plane to the region but contact with the plane was lost a while ago, and it crashed,” Coşkun said of the event. “Right now, the situation is still very recent. We dispatched a significant number of teams to the crash site,” said the statement. Coşkun continued by saying, “It is currently impossible to say anything definitive regarding the crew’s number. Our personnel are on their way to the scene. In this area, there is no land road. It’s a challenging and steep terrain. Our teams are expected to arrive in the region shortly “.
The MSB (Ministry of National Defense) also released a statement on the 14 August, saying:
“After the information that a Russian firefighting plane that took off from Adana to participate in the fire extinguishing efforts in Kahramanmaraş had crashed, a helicopter from Incirlik and a plane from Konya were deployed in the region to support the search and rescue efforts.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense then issued a written statement regarding the firefighting plane’s crash. The statement said, “the Be-200 plane crashed while landing near Adana. A team was sent to the accident site to investigate the accident. There were 5 officers from the Russian army and 3 Turkish representatives on the Be-200.”
“Our teams were quickly dispatched to the location from the moment the incident took place, and according to initial information, it was established that there were no survivors from the crew,” the Kahramanmaraş Governorship said in a written statement. Afterwards, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, in a tweet published on his Twitter account, said, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of the Turkish and Russian crew in the plane crash that occurred during the response to the fire in Kahramanmaraş. We express our condolences to the Russian people. Their heroic sacrifices will not be forgotten.”
Be-200 type planes have been in service in Turkey for two years, and this plane was involved in an accident while transporting water during a forest firefighting operation in Adana last year, and its engine was severely damaged. The BE-200 is a multi-purpose amphibious turbofan aircraft. It can be employed as a freight plane, a passenger plane (Be-210), or an amphibious waterdrop firefighting aircraft. The aircraft can collect 12 tons of water in 14 seconds from seas with waves of up to 1.2 meters.
Header: MAKS ‘2009: a Beriev Be-200ChS dropping water during the demo flight. (Image courtesy of Oleg V. Belyakov – AirTeamImages / CC BY-SA 3.0 )