Update: As per a report on Reuters, the Russian AN-26 airplane with 28 people on board that was reported missing in the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s far east has crashed into the sea. Several ships were en route to the crash site, RIA cited emergency services as saying.
Earlier, the country’s emergencies ministry confirmed that the twin-engined turboprop went missing. The plane, en route from regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the village of Palana in the northern part of the peninsula, lost contact with air traffic control during the flight, the ministry said.
As per AFP, there were conflicting reports of what may have happened, with one source telling TASS the plane could have crashed into the sea and another telling Interfax it may have gone down near a coal mine close to the town of Palana.
A search had been launched involving at least two helicopters and rescue workers were on standby, the reports said. There were 22 passengers and six crew members on board, the ministry said. The Antonov made small military and civilian aircraft was produced between 1969-1986.
Interfax news agency quoted the local meteorology centre as saying that weather in the area was cloudy.
While Russia has improved its safety standards, a major chunk of domestic airliners still use Soviet era miliary aircrafts as passenger flights. The last major air accident took place in May 2019, when a Sukhoi Superjet belonging to the flag carrier airline Aeroflot crash-landed and caught fire on the runway of a Moscow airport, killing 41 people.
With inputs from agencies.