Ukraine govt minister among 14 killed in helicopter crash

STORY: A Ukrainian helicopter crashed into childcare center in a Kyiv suburb on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people, including the country's minister of the interior who was aboard the aircraft.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi was the most senior Ukrainian official to die since Russian forces invaded the country in February last year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaking via videolink to an audience of world leaders and corporate executives gathered in Davos, Switzerland, requested a moment of silence for the victims.

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenksa, who was in Davos, said that she knew Monastyrskyi personally, and the loss was a personal blow.

The early morning disaster stunned and terrified residents here, many who were dropping of children at the nursery when the helicopter crashed through the roof of the building.

Mykola Antonov was inside with his five-year-old when, suddenly, everything was ablaze.

"Shock. I got up, started to put out the fire on my clothes that were burning, search for my son. He managed to get to the door, nothing happened to him thank God, and we started taking the children out. The teachers were great they reacted quickly and we managed to take all children out into the yard. We came out and it was a shock, an apocalypse, all was on fire."

Dozens of people were injured including children, many suffering burns.

Among them: Vanessa. Her mother looked down on the crash site from her 14th-floor apartment, at the spot where she'd just taken her child to her nursery.

"I went there running and saw the nursery was on fire, I was shocked. I didn't know what had happened to my child. I can't even express what I went through."

The entire side of the nursery building was charred, with a gaping hole above the entrance, where the helicopter's rotor blades rested.

Ukrainian officials said it was too early to determine what caused the crash. None immediately spoke of any attack by Russia.

The aircraft was a French-made Super Puma helicopter.

Ukraine's SBU State Security Service said it would consider possible causes including a breach of flight rules, a technical malfunction or intentional destruction.

U.S. President Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of those killed and said the United States would honor interior minister Monastyrskyi with continued commitment to preserving Ukraine's democracy.