A Russian Beriev Be-200 amphibious firefighting aircraft impacted a mountainside while fighting forest fires in Turkey. According to the reports, five crew members (military, belonging to the Russian Federation) and three Turkish forest inspectors were killed in the incident (some sources say just 7 people were aboard).
The aircraft was one of three Be-200’s sent to Turkey on July 8 to help the General Directorate of Forestry fight the wildfires.
A fire broke out at around 13:00 today in the Almalı location near the rural Ilıca District of Kahramanmaraş’s Onikisubat district. Upon the notification of the locals who saw the rising smoke, 100 forest workers, 10 water tanks, 1 plane, and 2 helicopters were sent to the region. Crews responded to the fire from the air and from the ground.
The Beriev-200 firefighting aircraft, which was used in the aerial response to the fire in the region and rented by Turkey from Russia, crashed on the slope of Engizek Mountain at around 14:30. Search and rescue teams were dispatched to the region where the plane sent from Adana to the region crashed.
— The Eurasianist (@Russ_Warrior) August 14, 2021
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted he was greatly saddened by the deaths and said their “heroic sacrifices” would not be forgotten.
Russian Navy Beriev Be-200 (RF-88450) crashed into high terrain near Kahramanmaras, about 50 km NW of Gaziantep, turkey. Killing all eight crewmembers. The aircraft took part in a fire-fighting mission. @EHAHaberportali https://t.co/wUAYHA9IaP pic.twitter.com/45rg1hcu4L
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) August 14, 2021
Turkey has fought some 300 wildfires in the last 16 days that have killed eight other people, consumed forests and homes and sent thousands fleeing.
The Beriev-200 Russian aircraft, called the Be-200 for short, is a Russian-made amphibious jet aircraft manufactured by Altair Beriev.
The aircraft is designed for firefighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo and passenger transportation, and has the capacity to carry 12 tonnes of water, which it fills in 14 seconds at a speed of 150-190 kilometres per hour.