MOSCOW, November 15. /TASS/. Six people died when a Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range passenger plane crashed while landing in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Region, the regional department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS.
"According to updated information, six people were killed in the crash, including two crew members. A three-year-old girl was rescued," the spokesman said.
The child will be taken to a regional hospital by helicopter.
"At the moment, the girl is in a stable condition, she is in a hospital in the Nelkan village," head of the main department for information policy and public relations of the regional government Svetlana Litvinova said.
An Emergencies Ministry helicopter is taking off from Khabarovsk, she said. "It will take the girl to a regional hospital. The operation is being organized despite difficult weather conditions," the official said.
The aircraft was carrying two pilots and five passengers.
The bodies of six individuals have been retrieved from the airplane’s debris.
The plane, en route from the region’s administrative center of Khabarovsk to the village of Nelkan, crashed while landing. The plane was owned by Khabarovsk Airlines.
"Pilot error or a technical malfunction are among the leading causes of the crash that are being looked into," an aviation source told TASS.
According to the regional department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, the plane crashed two kilometers away from the airport in the township of Nelkan.
A spokesperson for the department said the plane’s fuselage suffered no serious damage, and a fire did not break out.
Initial reports about the accident surfaced at about 13:30 local time (06:30 Moscow time).
An anonymous emergencies source earlier told TASS that the plane failed to establish contact with air traffic control and vanished from radar screens while performing a landing attempt.
A criminal case has been launched based on breaches of safety rules and air transport operation, resulting in the death of two or more people. The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) will conduct the investigation, Russia’s Transport Ministry said.
The Let L-410 Turbolet is a Czech-made 19-seat aircraft manufactured by Let Kunovice. More than 1,100 such planes have been produced in various modifications since the aircraft first entered service in 1971, and 862 of them were supplied to the Soviet Union.