11 feared dead in Russian plane crash: prosecutors

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Russian cargo plane that went missing Tuesday after reporting engine trouble crashed in the remote Far East region of Magadan and all 11 people on board are believed to have been killed, officials said.

"The remains of the plane were found 200 kilometers (120 miles) from Omsukchan village," transport prosecutors for the Far East region in a statement.

"According to initial information, 11 people -- nine crew members and two passengers -- died in the crash."

The plane disappeared off the radars earlier Tuesday after reporting that its engine was on fire and requesting to make an emergency landing at the Magadan airport.

The An-12 was operated by a Khabarovsk-based Avis-Amur company and was carrying 16 tonnes of provisions from Komsomolsk-On-Amur to the village of Kiperveyem in the remote Chukotka region.

The site of the accident is near a gold mine in one of Russia's harshest and least populated areas.

The RussianPlanes.net aircraft register said the missing jet was the oldest An-12 in civilian use in Russia, made in 1963. Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into possible violations of flight regulations, spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax news agency.

The four engine turboprop is used by both military and civilian organisations. In 2008, nine people died when a similar plane crashed near the city of Chelyabinsk after ploughing into power lines.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this summer recommended removing two Soviet-era jets, the An-24 and Tu-134, from regular use by the end of the year after two crashes killed 54 people in three weeks.

© 2011 AFP

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