Aircraft with 28 on board goes missing in Russia’s Far East region

An investigation has been launched and a search mission is under way. Two helicopters and an airplane have been deployed to inspect the missing plane along the domestic flight route, local officials said.

Russian An-26 plane with the tail number RA-26085 is seen in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia in this undated handout image released by Russia's Emergencies Ministry on July 6, 2021.
Russian An-26 plane with the tail number RA-26085 is seen in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia in this undated handout image released by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry on July 6, 2021. (Reuters Archive)

A plane with 28 people on board has gone missing in the Russian Far East region of Kamchatka.

An Antonov An-26 plane with 22 passengers and six crew members, flying from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana, missed a scheduled communication, local emergency officials said on Tuesday.

The plane also disappeared from radar, the local transport ministry added.

The aircraft 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.

An investigation has been launched, and a search mission is under way. Two helicopters and an airplane have been deployed to inspect the missing plane’s route, local officials said.

The plane was on approach for landing when contact was lost about 10 kilometres (six miles) away from Palana’s airport. The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was aboard the flight, spokespersons 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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