No survivors of plane crash in Russian Far East, rescue officials say

A Russian An-26 aircraft with tail number RA-26085 is seen in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia, in this undated image released by the Russian Emergency Ministry on July 6, 2021. Russian Emergency Ministry / Document via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There are no survivors after a plane carrying 28 people crashed in far eastern Russia on Tuesday, Russian news agencies said, citing relief officials.

The Antonov An-26 turboprop was en route from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamtchatsky to Palana, a village in the northern Kamchatka Peninsula, when it lost contact with air traffic control, the emergency ministry said.

Citing sources, Interfax reported that the plane crashed into a cliff as it prepared to land in poor visibility conditions.

The Russian Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that the site of the plane crash was discovered after the Emergency Ministry dispatched a helicopter and deployed ground crews to search for the missing plane.

There were 22 passengers and six crew on board, the ministry said. Olga Mokhireva, the mayor of Palana, was among the passengers, according to TASS, citing local authorities.

The weather in the region was cloudy by the time the plane went missing, Russian news agencies reported. TASS said the aircraft involved had been in service since 1982.

Russian aviation safety standards have improved in recent years, but accidents, especially involving aging aircraft in remote areas, are not uncommon.

The Soviet-era type of aircraft, still used for military and civilian flights in some countries, has been involved in dozens of fatal crashes since entering service around 50 years ago.

An Antonov-28, a similar aircraft, crashed into a Kamchatka forest in 2012 in a crash that killed 10 people along the same route. Investigators said both pilots were drunk at the time of the crash.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Kim Coghill, John Stonestreet and Alison Williams

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