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YEKATERINBURG, September 11 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators have asked for a list of penitentiaries located in the Sverdlovsk region's area of search for the missing An-2 plane with 13 people on board.
"This information might be helpful in the investigation into the criminal case opened over the disappearance of the An-2 crop duster," the press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service /FSIN/ told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
The press service of the Ural investigation department on the transport has not commented on the inquiry so far, noting that "the probe is underway," and that "any information is treated as "investigative secret."
The investigators will check other tips related to the radio signal that had allegedly come from An-2 passengers. The radio signal was detected and reported by Nizhny Tagil radio fan Valentin Degtyarov.
"A check has been launched into the report by the Nizny Tagil radio fan. Also, the heads of the municipalities in the North Administrative District have been ordered to find out if a collective farm whose names contains the word "revolution" is located in their territory. Degtyarov claimed the radio signal contained the word "revolution."
However, regional police said nobody except Valentin Degtyaryov had been able to make out anything coherent in the radio signal. The transport prosecutor's office of the city of Serov downplayed the radio fan's report. "Nobody has heard anything but noise in the radio message so far," a transport prosecutor said.
Ground search parties continue to comb the area the plane might have fallen.
A group of rescuers is working west of the village of Koptyaki. It comprises 35 people, including 10 police and 25 rescuers of the Ural regional search and rescue unit and the rescuer service of the Sverdlovsk region.
Regional police said in the evening of June 11, a group of persons drank alcohol before boarding the plane in Serov. Several cars were left behind in the airfield. Supposedly, they belonged to passengers. Under one of the versions, the group might have gone fishing or flown to a sauna in a neighboring region. The passengers' mobile phones did not answer.
According to preliminary information, 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.
It reportedly had up to 13 persons on board and the pilot, including the Serov road police chief, a road policeman, a guard, a pensioner, a businessman, a mobile phone seller and others, regional police chief Valery Gorelykh said.
Criminal proceedings were opened over the disappearance of the An-2 plane under Criminal Code article on "violation of aircraft operation regulations and traffic rules, which resulted in the death of two or more persons by negligence."