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YEKATERINBURG, May 5 (Itar-Tass) - Remains of more than ten people, recovered at the site of the crash of an airplane that had been missing in the Urals since last June, were taken for forensic examination in Yekaterinburg, a spokesman for the Sverdlovsk region police department told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
Fragments of an An-2 plane and human remains were found by hunters Sergei Skryabin and Alexander Kuznetsov in the in the Katasminskoye bog, some eight kilometres from the town of Serov, where the ill-fortune An-2 took off from on June 11, 2012. The two men reported their find to local police, which later officially confirmed that the fragments found in the forest near Serov belonged to the An-2 airplane that got missing in the area last June.
The search operation for the missing plane was held for several months in the Perm Territory, the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and Svedlovsk regions and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. Aircraft and ground search parties inspected more than one million square kilometres of terrain. The search operation involved more than 1,500 people, 13 aircrafts and about 320 vehicles.
According to the Earth monitoring research centre, the Resurs-DK aircraft surveyed an area of 12,500 square kilometers, primarily in the Sverdlovsk region. Search parties there made 731 inspections of populated localities in the vicinity of Serov, but to no avail.
The police, officers from the investigations committee and rescuers were working at the site throughout Sunday. According to the police spokesman, the plane might have crashed while landing. “Its wing hit trees’ tops and crashed. While falling down, the plane broke two trees, others soon resumed their position, that is why it was next to impossible to spot the fragments from the air,” he said. The crash was presumably followed by fire. “Policemen searching the area found human remains (of more than 11 people) and personal belongings of the passengers,” he said.
Works at the site will be resumed in the morning on Monday. Until then, the plane’s fragments will be guarded by the Serov town police.
Psychologists are working with the relatives of the crash victims.
On June 11, 2012, An-2 pilot Khatip Kashapov took off without permission from the airfield in the town of Serov. The plane belonged to the Avia Zov Company. There were 12 passengers on board. A criminal case was opened on charges of violations of air traffic rules and the rules of operation of aircraft resulting in the death of two or more people. In the autumn 2012, the criminal case was closed and the search operation was officially halted. Investigation of the case was resumed on Sunday.