5 dead as police helicopter crashes in Ukraine


KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine's Interior Ministry says one of its helicopters has crashed in the central part of the country, killing all 5 people on board.

Ministry spokesman Serhiy Burlakov says a Mi-8 helicopter slammed into the ground shortly after taking off from an airport in the city of Alexandria in the Kirovograd region, about 200 miles southeast of the capital, Kiev.

Investigators were working to determine what caused Tuesday night's crash, Burlakov said. Three of the dead were crew members and two were ground staff.

Helicopter accidents are frequent in former Soviet countries due to poor maintenance, disregard for safety regulations and cost-cutting mentality.