Only survivor of fiery plane crash shares how he tried to save burning friend

A plane crash survivor has shared harrowing details of being trapped inside the aircraft as it plunged to earth and exploded in to flames.

Ukrainian air force cadet Vyacheslav Zolochevskyi survived being involved in a plane crash which killed all other 26 people on board.

Reports state 25 people died in the crash and one person died from burns in hospital – while Mr Zolochevskyi is receiving treatment for his injuries.

The training flight contained 20 cadets and seven crew members.

As a sole survivor, the 20-year-old military cadet shared the horrifying moment he watched the interior of the plane become engulfed in flames.

He also explained how he tried in vain to save the lives of other passengers as they were set on fire around him.

The accident took place when an Antonov An-26 military aircraft came down one mile from its airfield and exploded in a fireball.

A faulty engine has been associated with the accident which occurred near the eastern city of Chuguev on Friday evening.

Head of Kharkiv administration, Oleksiy Kucher, spoke to the cadet in hospital and revealed: "He said it was like a computer game, that when he got to his feet, he saw his friend burning.

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“And he was actually helping to put out the flames on this guy who was also brought into hospital.”

Mr Zolochevskyi’s friend he tried to save was named as Nikolai Mikitchenko – who sadly died on Saturday.

Mr Kucher said the miracle survivor – in his early 20s – “doesn't remember everything, he lost consciousness at some point".

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He added: “After he regained cam round… he began to put out the flames on his colleague.

“He survived while being inside the plane. But physically he is in a satisfactory state.”

A military doctor named Eduard Khorshun also commented on Mr Zolochevskyi’s condition, saying: “His condition is medium grave. There is no threat to life, his condition is stable.”

While the survivor’s mother, Irina Zolochevskaya, has explained her relief that her son is alive.

She said: “He is alive. He jumped [out of the plane], he managed to survive….

“When I heard about the catastrophe, and read it was training flights for cadets, I didn't know what to do.

“I was afraid that my son was gone too.”

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