KHABAROVSK, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — All members of the crew of the ill-fortuned An-12 plane, which got missing in Russia’s Far Eastern Magadan region on Tuesday, were residents of the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a spokeswoman for the Far Eastern transport administration of the Russian Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
According to updated reports, there were 11 people onboard the plane, i.e. six crew members, two technicians from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, one instructor from Sakhalin, and two residents of the Chukotka autonomous area, who were accompanying a commercial cargo.
Investigators are probing into various theories of the plane crash.
“They are assessing the technical condition of the aircraft that has been operating since 1963, its flight readiness, and actions of the crew,” the spokeswoman said.
Criminal case was opened on charges of violations of air traffic safety rules leading to the death of two or more persons.
The search operation for the plane was resumed on Wednesday at dawn.
The Antonov An-12 of the Khabarovsk-based Avis-Amur airline on August 9 was flying from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to the Chukchi village of Keperveyem. After refuelling and taking off in Magadan, the commander of the aircraft at 16:39, local time (07:39 MSK) reported to air traffic controllers that the plane had a fuel leak and fire in the engine in the area of the Julietta (Juliet) gold mine in the Omsukchan district of the Magadan region. After some time, communication with the crew was lost, and the aircraft disappeared from radar screens.
Shortly after the supposed crash, an emergency beacon of the An-12 transmitted a signal that was received by satellites, but then the signal disappeared. The search and rescue operation was complicated by low clouds and rain. Rescuers failed to find the liner before dark. The gold mine is located approximately 300 kilometres from the Omsukchan village.