July 25, 2021

Nineteen bodies found after plane crash in Russia’s Far East

In the aftermath of a plane crash in the remote Kamchatka peninsula in the Far East region of Russia, the body count discovered by rescuers rose to nineteen. “The fragments of ten new bodies were found during the search operation on the Kamchatka coast. (…) Work is suspended for the night ”, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations announced in a statement on Wednesday (July 7th).

Earlier today, the authorities announced the discovery of nine bodies and the identification of one of them. The rescue team consists of fifty-one rescuers on foot, supported by helicopters and boats. Their research takes place in difficult weather conditions, due to fog, swells and high winds.

The airliner from a small local company, with twenty-two passengers and six crew on board, had disappeared from radar on Tuesday as it was about to land in the coastal town of Palana. After several hours of searching, rescuers finally located the debris of the device along the coast and in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.

The trace of the Antonov An-26 plane crash on a cliff near the airport in the city of Palana, in the Far East region.  Photograph taken by the services of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, July 7, 2021.

Authorities promise to help relatives of victims

Images from the crash site show a large black mark on top of a cliff several hundred meters plunging into the water. Kamchatka is a gigantic territory with very little population, but appreciated by tourists for its volcanoes and its wild nature. Its governor, Vladimir Solodov, declared three days of mourning in the region. He went to Palana, where he promised the families of the victims “All the help you need”, according to a statement from the authorities. Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

The device, an Antonov An-26, of Soviet design, was connecting the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamtchatsky, with Palana when it stopped broadcasting. Investigators are studying the theses of an accident due to bad weather, a technical problem or a piloting error. The An-26 was produced from 1969 to 1986 in the Soviet Union. He has experienced several fatal accidents in recent years.

The World with AFP