Plane Crashes in Kamchatka, Killing 10

Sep. 13 2012 — 00:00
An An-28 plane like the one of the same model above crashed in Kamchatka on Tuesday. Rob Vogelaar

An An-28 propeller plane carrying 14 people crashed in the far eastern region of Kamchatka on Tuesday, killing 10 of those on board.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane traveling from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana on the peninsula's northwest coast around 12:30 p.m. local time, a statement on the Kamchatka regional administration's website said.

A Mi-8 helicopter was sent in search of the plane, which was run by the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airline, and found it about 10 kilometers from Palana, the statement said.

Four people survived the crash, the statement said and Interfax reported. Thursday has been declared a day of mourning in Kamchatka.

A statement by the Investigative Committee cited a number of possible reasons for the crash, including poor weather conditions, a technical failure in the plane, and pilot error. The statement said an investigation into the crash is under way.

The crash was the deadliest in Russia since a Utair-operated ATR 72 crashed just after takeoff in the Siberian city of Tyumen in April, killing 33 people. In May, a Sukhoi-built Superjet 100 collided with a mountain in Indonesia, killing all 45 people on board.

The four survivors of Tuesday's crash, among whom was a 13-year-old, two women and a man, are in critical condition in a Palana hospital with a variety of broken bones and other injuries, the Kamchatka administration statement said. The 13-year-old is in a coma and is in the worst condition of the four survivors, it said.

Most of the passengers were residents of Palana, a Kamchatka emergency official told Interfax. Palana has a population of about 3,500 people, according to the 2010 census.

A Kamchatka region air traffic control source told Interfax that one possible reason for the crash being considered by investigators is engine failure in the plane. The source also said there was bad weather near Palana at the time of the crash, including torrential rains and clouds as low as 400 meters from the ground.

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