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Ten dead in plane crash in Russian Far East

September 12, 2012
MOSCOW: Ten people died and four were injured today after a small plane crashed in far-eastern Russia, an emergency ministry official told AFP.

The An-28 passenger plane made a hard emergency landing in the far-flung Kamchatka region of Russia after noon local time (midnight GMT), said a spokeswoman with the far-eastern branch of the emergency ministry.

It had a total of 14 people on board, she said, including two crew members. “10 people have died, and four were injured,” she said, adding they were being taken for treatment in the town of Palana.

The twin-engine plane took off from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for a scheduled flight to Palana on the coast of the Okhotsk sea, but communications went dead at 12:28 local time (0028 GMT), the ministry said.

A rescue helicopter located the crashed plane and four survivors on a cedar tree-covered hill 10 kilometres from Palana, the emergency ministry statement said.

The victims included both crew members and one of the dead passengers was a child, the ministry said. The plane sustained “considerable damage,” it said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened a probe into possible violation of air transport regulations.

According to the schedule on Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky airport, the daily flight to Palana is operated by a state-owned local carrier FGUPKAP. The cause of the crash has not yet been announced. The local weather forecast indicated overcast skies and rain in the area.

Russia has a dismal aviation safety record, with its older small planes that serve far-flung Siberian and Far Eastern regions regularly going down for emergency landings.

-AFP


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