MAGADAN, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — The search for an An-12 transport plane, which got missing in Russia’s Far Eastern Magadan region on Tuesday, have yielded no results so far. Russian emergencies ministry’s planes and helicopters made several flights within the presumed area of the air crash, no plane has been found, a spokesman for the regional emergencies administration told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The search operation in the Magadan region’s Omsukchan distrit, in the area of the Julietta (Juliet) gold mine, involves two Mi-8 helicopters, a Be-200 and an An-26 planes.
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. The plane leased by the Avis-Amur airline from its owner, the company KNAAPO in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, was carrying a cargo of 17.5 tons. There were 13 people onboard the plane, including 11 crew members and two persons accompanying the cargo. After refueling 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 a fire in the engine in the area of the 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 near the village of Omsukchan 560 km from Magadan that was received by satellites, but then the signal disappeared. The search and rescue operation was complicated by low clouds and rain. Moreover, the plane got missing in the swampy tundra, far from populated areas. Rivers and springs have overflown their banks after recent heavy rains making the land almost impassable. Rescuers failed to find the liner before dark. The gold mine is located approximately 300 kilometres from the Omsukchan village.
A search operation was launched on the same day but air surveillance flights made by an An-26 plane and a Mi-8 helicopter yielded no result. The search operation was resumed early on Wednesday. Luckily, the visibility improved by the morning to ten kilometres, although the weather is still cloudy. Air temperatures are at about ten degrees Centigrade, not dropping below six in the night time.
A criminal case was opened on charges of violations of safety rules.