YEKATERINBURG, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – An expert examination has identified the bodies of two people found in a crashed Antonov An-2 biplane which came down over Russia’s Ural mountains last June and was only found in mid-May this year, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday.
“By now, the results of molecular and genetic expert studies have made it possible to establish the identities of two persons. They are residents of the town of Serov, a brother and sister, Maxim Mayevsky, born in 1988 and Oksana Mayevskaya born in 1989,” the committee said.
Initial results of medical tests have helped identify ten men and three women from the skeletal remains discovered at the crash site, transport investigators said.
The An-2 aircraft, which was tasked with monitoring wildfires, went missing last June after being taken on an unauthorized flight from an airfield near the town of Serov. The pilot did not inform air traffic control of his departure. The head of Serov’s traffic police division was one of those on board.
There was no distress call from the aircraft when it disappeared.
Local hunters accidentally stumbled across the wreckage in remote terrain in early May this year, after an extensive search operation by aircraft in the previous months had failed to locate it. During the massive search operation which covered thousands of square kilometers, rescue teams even came across the remnants of another An-2 and Mi-8 helicopter that went missing in the 1980s.
Dubbed “the ghost plane” by the press, the fate of the missing An-2 quickly became one of modern Russia’s most talked-about mysteries. Investigators previously suggested the plane might have been taken without permission by the pilot and his drinking buddies for a fishing trip or a visit to the sauna.