A plane with 22 passengers and six crew members went missing on Tuesday in the Russian Far East region’s Kamchatka peninsula, AP reported, citing local officials.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft was flying from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana. A local official said that the plane missed a scheduled communication and lost contact about 10 kilometers away from Palana’s airport. It also disappeared from the radar at the same time, the local transport ministry said.
Valentina Glazova, a spokesperson for the local transport prosecutor’s office, told AFP that search and rescue efforts were underway. “All that is known at this time, what has been possible to establish, is that communication with the plane was interrupted and it did not land,” she said.
The Kamchatka government said that Olga Mokhireva, the head of the Palana administration is among the passengers.
Local officials said that two helicopters and an airplane have been deployed to inspect the route of the missing aircraft.
Reports claimed that the plane had crashed into the sea as it was preparing to land, but there was no official confirmation on it yet.
The plane belonged to the Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise. The aircraft has been operational since October 20, 1982, and its certificate of worthiness was due to expire on August 30, 2021, reported Russian news agency TASS.
In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise had crashed into a mountain while going in for a landing in Palana. Ten of the 14 people on board were killed. Alcohol was found in the blood of both pilots, who were among the dead.