MOSCOW, August 10 (RIA Novosti)
An in-flight fuel explosion was probably the reason for Tuesday's crash of a worn-out Antonov An-12 transport aircraft in Russia's Far East, a law enforcement source in the Magadan Region said on Wednesday.
The plane, bound from the city of Magadan to the Chukotka Autonomous Area in Russia's extreme northeast, was carrying 11 people and around 18 metric tons of cargo. It disappeared from radars some 300 km (186 miles) from its takeoff point shortly after reporting a fuel leak and fire in an engine. No survivors have been found.
The Emergencies Ministry reported that the flight recorders have been discovered and that the plane debris was scattered in a radius of several kilometers.
"This allows us to assume that an explosion occurred on board the aircraft as a result of a fuel leak," the source said.
Before the crash, the An-12 was used for 48 years, and investigators say a technical malfunction and pilot error could be to blame for the accident.
Investigators and aviation experts will soon examine the crash site. Meanwhile, flights of An-12s have been suspended.