Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Antonov AN-28, RA-28715, Flight PTK-215: Accident occurred September 11, 2012 near Palana Airport, Kamchatka peninsula, Russia

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 travelling from the Kamchatkan regional capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsy to the city of Palana, near the Kamchatka peninsula's northwest coast, at around 12:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. in Moscow), the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement on its website.

A Mi-8 helicopter was sent in search of the plane and found it around 10 kilometers from Palana, regional emergency officials said, Interfax reported.

Ten of the 14 people on board died in the crash, including a 4-year-old and both members of the flight crew, the Emergency Situations Ministry statement and Interfax reported.

The four survivors, 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, a statement on the Kamchatka regional administration website said. The 13-year-old is in a coma and is in the worst condition of the four survivors, the statement said.

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 underway.

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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