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YEKATERINBURG, June 15 (Itar-Tass) — Volunteers have joined the search operation for an An-2 plane which has been missing in the Sverdlovsk region for five days after an unauthorized take off, a spokesman for the regional emergencies administration told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
According to the spokesman, about 100 volunteers are interrogating residents of the towns of Volchansk, Karpinsk, and Severouralsk and are taking part in the combing of an area around the Kiselevskoye dam lake.
The search operation also involves rescuers of the Karpinsky rescue team, who are rafting down the Kakva River, and divers who are searching the Karpinsky canal located in the vicinity of the town of Serov where the plane took off from.
According to preliminary data, after having some alcohol in the evening on June 11, the plane’s pilot Khatib Kashapov, a native of the town of Orsk, Orenburg region, took off on crop-duster An-2 without permission. The plane belongs to Avi Zov, a company based in Chelyabinsk. Among the plane’s passengers presumably are the chief of Serov’s traffic police, a traffic police officer, an officer of a private bodyguard company, a businessman, a salesman from a telecom shop, and others.
A criminal case was opened on charges of violations of air traffic safety and aircraft operation rules that resulted in the death through negligence of one or more people.