CONCERN – Debris from the Antonov An-28 missing on Tuesday with 28 people on board in the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia has been found, announces the Russian air agency.
Maxence GEVIN –
What happened ? Russian authorities lost track of a plane carrying 28 passengers in eastern Russia on Tuesday. Among them, six crew members, indicate the Interfax and RIA Novosti agencies. During a connection between Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Palana, in the Kamchatka peninsula, the AN-26 suddenly stopped transmitting its reconnaissance signals, said the national security services, relayed by the local media.
A few hours later, Russian rescuers found debris from the aircraft. “Rescuers found debris from the plane”, Rosaviatsia said in a statement sent to AFP, specifying that their work “is difficult” due to the geography of the place. “The rescue operation is being carried out using special equipment, an all-terrain vehicle with 26 rescuers.”
Debris at sea
Debris was found at “about four to five kilometers” from Palana airport, along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk without specifying whether it was in the sea or not. Part of the fuselage is on the ground and “the second part was spotted at sea about four kilometers from the coast”, said the press service of the Russian navy, quoted by the Interfax press agency.
The plane should have landed at 3:50 p.m. local time but according to regional authorities, contact had been lost nine kilometers from its destination. The Antonov was operated by a small local company from Kamchatka, a huge sparsely populated peninsula in the far east of Russia.
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For many years, Russia suffered from a bad reputation when it comes to aviation safety. Poor technical maintenance and lack of rigor in safety rules have had a lasting impact on the Russian aeronautics sector. In addition, air transport is increasingly subject to often difficult flight conditions in remote areas of the Arctic and the Far East.
The last serious accident was in May 2019. During a forced landing, a Sukhoi Superjet of the national company Aeroflot caught fire on the runway of a Moscow airport, killing 41 people.
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