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MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. The land-based rescue team has discovered the crashed Emergencies Ministry’s fire-fighting Il-76 plane in Russia’s Irkutsk Region, a source in the emergency response team told TASS.
"Around 02:00 am, Moscow time the missed Emergencies Ministry’s fire-fighting Il-76 plane was discovered 4 kilometers south of the Rybny Yan settlement on the slope of one of the hills," a representative of the team said.
Earlier a source in Russia’s aviation structures told TASS that fragments of the Il-76 fire-fighting plane have been discovered.
It was also reported that the plane may have crashed after catching a hill.
"One of the versions implies that the plane could have caught or crashed into the hill amid reduced visibility and given that it was flying at a low altitude," the source said, adding that "the stage of field investigation is only beginning.".
The Il-76 plane did not go on the air for a radio contact at 06:30 am, Moscow time on Friday. The plane was equipped with an airborne spray tank for fighting wildfires in the Bayandayevsky district of the Irkutsk region. Only the crew comprising 10 people was on board. The plane disappeared in a remote area. The Emergencies Ministry sent about 500 rescuers for the search.
Investigative bodies have organized a pre-investigation check over the failure to get in touch by the Il-76 plane. Two preliminary versions are considered: aircraft technical fault and pilot error. The Emergencies Ministry said the missing plane was in good repair, had passed all the required pre-flight procedures and was technically faultless.