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YEKATERINBURG, June 18 (Itar-Tass) — More than 1,000 volunteers and rangers are taking part in the search operation for an An-2 plane which has been missing in the Sverdlovsk region since June 12, a spokesman for the regional emergencies administration told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“On Sunday, an air inspection of the Karpinsky and Severouralsky districts was conducted. The aircraft flew over a territory between the Karpinsk and the settlement of Kytlym, near the Kumba mount and the Denezhkin Kamen nature reserve. Meanwhile, groups of volunteers and forest rangers led by emergencies and police officers combed the area around Kytlym. A search operation was also conducted near the Katyshminsky bogs in the Severouralsk district. About 1,000 people take part in the search operation,” the spokesman said.
Along with that, search operations are held in neighboring regions. Thus, a Mi-8 helicopter is flying over mountains near the adjacent Perm Territory.
According to Andrei Zalensky, the head of the search operation headquarters and chief of the Sverdlovsk region emergencies administration, the weather now is favorable for air operations. In all, six aircraft are involved in the operation.
Psychologists from the emergencies ministry are working with the relatives of the people who were onboard the lost plane.
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.