5 dead, 15 injured in small plane crash near Kiev

A small plane carrying skydivers crash-landed in stormy weather near the Ukrainian capital on Sunday, killing five people and injuring 15, including an Austrian citizen, emergency officials said.

The L-410 plane belonging to a pilot school made a "hard" emergency landing during a heavy rainstorm with high winds near the Borodyanka airport some 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Kiev, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova. No other details were immediately available.

Channel 5 television reported that the pilots decided to return to the airport minutes after takeoff due to the sudden storm, but the plane came down several kilometers (miles) away in the middle of a field.

Television footage showed the white aircraft with blue stripes flipped onto its side in the middle of a thick green field under sunny skies, after the rain gave way to bright sunshine. The cockpit was badly damaged and debris strewn about, including one of the plane's wheels.

The plane was carrying 17 skydivers and three crew members. The injured have been taken to local hospitals. An investigation has been opened.