Russia plane crash: Aircraft carrying 28 plunges into sea after vanishing from radar

A Russian aeroplane carrying 28 people, including a child, has crashed into the sea.

The twin-engine An-2 aircraft vanished from radar in the remote Kamchatka peninsula in the vast country’s far east on Tuesday, with rescue teams deployed to the area.

Several ships were on the way to the crash site once it was located, according to reports.

The flight had set off from regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and was heading for the village of Palana in the north before losing contact, the emergencies ministry confirmed.

Six crew members were among those on board, the ministry added.

The head of the Palana village administration, Olga Mokhireva, 42, Is reported to have been among the passengers.

A report said that the 39-year-old turboprop Antonov got into trouble as it prepared to land, and the Russian Pacific Fleet was called in to help the search, along with a plane and two helicopters.

A local meteorology centre said weather in the area was cloudy, according to reports.

A spokesman for the ministry, speaking prior to the discovery of the crash, said: “An An-2 plane has disappeared from radar.

“We are trying to figure out what happened.”

Emergency sources said the plane likely got into trouble some 15 to 20 km from the airport.

Russian news agency TASS reported contact with the aircraft had been lost during landing.

A source suggested to the agency the plane could have crashed into the sea, while another told Interfax it may have gone down near a coal mine close to Palana.

The Kamchatka Peninsular is a vast, sparsely populated region in Russia’s far east, surround by the Sea of Okhotsk to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

More than half of its 320,000 inhabitants live either in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky or the nearby town of Yelizovo.

The volcanic peninsula is currently hit by raging wildfires but a report said viability was good around the plane’s routing.

a view of a snow covered mountain: A view of Lake Takhkoloch at the Vachkazhets mountain range in Yelizovo District on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East© Yelena Vereshchaka/TASS A view of Lake Takhkoloch at the Vachkazhets mountain range in Yelizovo District on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East

An emergencies official said: “The duty shift of the crisis management centre of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Main Directorate in Kamchatka region received information that the An-26 aircraft, on a passenger flight from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana, did not get in touch at the specified time.”

Regional deputy transport minister Anatoly Bannikov, said: “It was supposed to arrive at the Palana airport at 15:05 (local time).

“The plane did not arrive at the appointed time.

“According to updated data, there were 28 people on board… six crew members and 22 passengers, including one child born in 2014.”

The pilot was named as Dmitry Nikiforov, and the co-pilot Alexander Anisimov, 27.

An Mi8 helicopter was also assisting the search.

Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered a special commission to find out what had happened to the plane.

a small airplane sitting on the tarmac of an airport runway: An Antonov An-2 utility plane prepares for a forest fire response© Aerial Forest Protection Service An Antonov An-2 utility plane prepares for a forest fire response

A criminal case was also launched into its fate, a normal measure when a plane goes missing or crashes in Russia.

The vanished plane was produced in 1982 and was owned by Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, said local transport officials.

It has a valid certificate of airworthiness, they said.

The Soviet-era workhorse planes are widely used in remote areas of Russia.

In 2012, an An-28 plane crashed near Palana, killing ten.

The pilots were eventually found guilty, as they had alcohol in their blood.


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