Russia saves stranded passengers from Siberia plane

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Russian emergency services Saturday rescued eight passengers and three pilots who were stranded in a remote Siberian region after their plane made an emergency landing, officials said.

The plane had been carrying out a passenger flight in the Buryatia region of southern Siberia late Friday but the alarm was raised when it failed to land at the airstrip at the town of Bagdarin and radio contact was lost.

Reports said that the An-2 biplane had made an emergency landing in a remote area amid bad weather but had not suffered damage.

Several hours after it disappeared, the emergency services located the plane and tranferred the passengers and the pilots to Bagdarin by helicopter.

"All the work has been completed. The plane has been found and people evacuated," the spokeswoman for the emergency services in the Buryatia region Tatyana Gulgenova told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Such passenger flights are often the only way to complete journeys in remote Russian regions but accidents are not uncommon due to ageing Soviet-era planes.

Last month, a Russian passenger plane carrying 81 people made a crash landing described as miraculous at a deserted air strip deep in the Siberian taiga after a complete mid-flight power failure. No-one was badly hurt.

© 2010 AFP

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