IRKUTSK, July 4. /TASS/. State flags are flown at half-mast in the Irkutsk region on Monday as a day of mourning over the crash of the Ilyushin Il-76 plane that was battling wildfires in the region has been declared. The region is mourning for all 10 crew members of the crashed plane.
The memorial services for the crash victims will be held in Orthodox churches of the Angara area. The authorities have requested the leadership of the cultural institutions and TV and broadcasters not to air entertainment programs on this day. "The Governor and government of the Irkutsk region mourn the dead and express their sincere condolences to their families and relatives," the official website of the regional government says.
The Il-76 belonged to the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Search and Rescue Company. The aircraft disappeared from radar screens on July 1, its fragments were found 4 km south of the Rybny Uyan settlement on the slope of a hill.
A source in aviation agencies told TASS earlier that "according to a preliminary version, the plane, having dropped water on a hot spot in the Kachugdky district at an altitude 300 meters, turned to fly back to the base." "Possibly, hot air from wildfires got into the plane engines, and the airliner lost thrust, as a result of which the aircraft could not ascent, hit the tree tops and crashed," he said. The plane burned down during the crash.