MOSCOW — Local officials reported an aircraft carrying 28 people went missing in the Russian Far East province of Kamchatka on Tuesday.
According to local emergency personnel, an Antonov An-26 jet carrying 22 passengers and six crew members missed a planned communication while flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana. According to the local transport ministry, the jet likewise vanished from radar.
The jet belongs to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, a business based in Kamchatka. According to Russian state news agency Tass, the plane has been in service since 1982. The plane was technically fine, according to the company’s director, Alexei Khabarov, who spoke to the Interfax news agency.
A search effort has been begun, and an investigation has been launched. The jet may have fallen into the water, according to media sources, although no official confirmation has yet been issued. According to local officials, two helicopters and an aeroplane have been dispatched to investigate the path of the missing jet.
Several ships have also been looking for the jet, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti. Palana is a small village on the shore of the Okhotsk Sea.
When communication was lost around 10 kilometres (six miles) from Palana’s airport, the jet was on its way to land. According to Kamchatka government spokesmen, the aeroplane carried the head of the local administration in Palana, Olga Mokhireva.
An Antonov An-28 jet owned by Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain in 2012 while flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk to Palana for a landing. There were a total of 14 passengers on board, with ten of them being killed. According to Tass, both of the pilots who were killed had alcohol in their blood.