MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s state aviation agency said that wreckage from a plane that went missing Tuesday in the Far East region of Kamchatka has been found around five kilometers (three miles) away from a runway in an airport on the Okhotsk Sea coast where it was supposed to land.
An Antonov An-26 plane with 22 passengers and six crew members, flying from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana, missed a scheduled communication, local emergency officials said. The plane also disappeared from radar, the local transport ministry said.
The governor of Kamchatka, Vladimir Solodov, told the Interfax news agency that the main body of the plane was found on the coast, while other wreckage was found in the sea right near the coast.
According to Russian media reports, none of the 28 people on board have survived the crash.
The plane belonged to a company called Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise. The plane has been in operation since 1982, Russian state news agency Tass reported. The company’s director, Alexei Khabarov, told the Interfax news agency that the plane was technically sound.
An investigation has been launched, and a search mission is underway. Media reports have suggested the plane may have crashed into the sea, but there has been no official confirmation of that yet. Two helicopters and an airplane have been deployed to inspect the missing plane’s route, local officials said.
The state RIA Novosti news agency reported that several ships have also been searching for the plane. The town of Palana is located on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea.
The plane was on approach for landing when contact was lost about 10 kilometers (six miles) away from Palana’s airport. The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was aboard the flight, spokespeople of the Kamchatka government said.
In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk and coming in for a landing in Palana.
A total of 14 people were on board and 10 of them were killed. Both pilots, who were among the dead, were found to have alcohol in their blood, Tass reported.