MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – Eight people were injured after a small Russian plane caught fire while crash landing in West Siberia, the regional emergencies center reported on Sunday.
The incident occurred at about 12:10 p.m. local time (7:20 a.m. GMT) on Sunday when an Antonov An-2 biplane made an emergency landing after a takeoff on the former runway of Yugorsk-2 urban settlement in the Sovetsky district of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area.
“According to updated information, eight persons were taken to hospital after the An-2 plane made a crash landing. The plane passengers are members of the [local] aeroclub who boarded the plane for parachute jumping,” the emergencies center said.
Previous reports said there were ten people aboard the plane, including one pilot, and all of them were taken to hospital with injuries.
The An-2 first flew as long ago as 1947 and hundreds are still flying in Russia and abroad, powered by the same nine-cylinder radial engine and four-blade propeller as was used in the initial design.
The An-2 is the most widely produced aircraft in history (over 20,000 built). The aircraft is still used for numerous roles including crop-dusting, parachute trainer, light transport, local passenger transport and military roles.
Russia has a chronic need for a new generation of small regional aircraft to service remote communities in areas with poor road and rail links. Regional aviation has fallen into steep decline since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.