Wreckage from a plane that went missing Tuesday in Russia’s Far East region of Kamchatka was found around five kilometers away from a runway at an airport on the coast where it was supposed to land, officials said.
An Antonov An-26 plane with 22 passengers and six crew members, flying from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana on the Okhotsk Sea coast, missed a scheduled communication and disappeared from radar as it was on approach for landing.
The governor of Kamchatka, Vladimir Solodov, told the Interfax news agency that the aircraft’s fuselage was found on land near the coast, while other wreckage was found nearby in the Okhotsk Sea.
According to Russian media reports, none of the 28 people on board have survived the crash.
The plane belonged to a company called Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise. The plane has been in operation since 1982, Russian state news agency Tass reported. The company’s director, Alexei Khabarov, told the Interfax news agency that the plane was technically sound before taking off in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
A criminal investigation into the incident has been launched. Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise’s deputy director, Sergei Gorb, said that the plane “practically crashed into a sea cliff,” which wasn’t supposed to be in its landing trajectory.
The plane was on approach for landing when contact was lost about 10 kilometers (six miles) away from Palana’s airport. The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was aboard the flight, spokespeople of the Kamchatka government said.
In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk and coming in for a landing in Palana. A total of 14 people were on board and 10 of them were killed. Both pilots, who were among the dead, were found to have alcohol in their blood, Tass reported.
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