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MOSCOW, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Investigations Committee has opened a criminal case over the crash of an An-12 transport airplane near Russia’s Siberian city of Irkutsk that killed nine people, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian Investigations Committee, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“The East Siberian department of the transport investigation committee opened a criminal case on charges of violating air traffic rules (article 263 of the Russian Criminal Code),” Markin said.
The accident took place at 21:45 local time, the press service of the Russian Investigations Committee said. The plane crashed while landing in the territory of an army unit near the railway station of Batareinaya. There were nine people onboard the plane - six crew members and three officers accompanying the cargo. All of them died. Five dead bodies have been recovered by now.
The plane fell down on warehouses and caused a fire. “No explosion followed. Split fuel caught fire on an area of 20 square meters,” a source in the local law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass, adding that there was no threat of explosion of the military arsenals. “Open fire has already been extinguished,” the source said, adding that no one from among the servicemen had been hurt.
The plane received minor damages, the source said.
Among the theories of the accident are a human error and a technical malfunction. Weather conditions, according to the source, were normal.
The crashed An-12 was registered as an experimental aviation aircraft and was making a flight from Novosibirsk to Itrkutsk, a spokesman for the Russian Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) said. The investigation into the accident will he carried out by the Russian ministry of industry and trade, Alexei Morozov, a deputy chairman of the Interstate Aviation Committee, told Itar-Tass.
Meanwhile, a source at the Novosibirsk-based Chkalov aircraft-building enterprise told Itar-Tass that the plane had been transporting spare parts to the Irkutsk aircraft repair base. “An-12 is a transport plane. It was transporting regular spare parts - our regular corporate ties,” the source said.