MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. An Antonov-12 cargo plane belonging to Belarusia’s Grodno air carrier crashed near the village of Pivovarikha, near Irkutsk, on Wednesday. There were seven crew on board. Five bodies have been found so far.
TASS has summarized what is known about the air crash at the current time.
- The Antonov-12 went off the radar at 14:45 Moscow time just as it was about to land in Irkutsk. Before that, the crew told the air traffic controllers they would have to circle a second time.
- Rescue teams found the debris near the village of Pivovarikha.
- After the crash the plane caught fire. The burning fuel spill covered an area of 300 square meters. The fire has now been put out.
- There were no survivors, the Irkutsk Region's governor, Igor Kabayerv told the media. According to the authorities, there were only crewmembers on board, presumably citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
- Nothing has been said officially about the likely cause. Aviation services have told TASS the investigation pursued several lines of inquiry, such as pilot error and technical problems, for instance, engine failure after collision with birds.
- Irkutsk Airport's spokesman Klim Kulikov said the plane was trying to land in heavy wet snowfall with poor visibility.
- Criminal proceedings have been launched on the suspicion of violation of traffic and operational safety rules.
- A team of 100 rescuers is working at the crash scene. Four ambulances and four catastrophe medicine vans were dispatched there.
- The Irkutsk governor went to the site of the crash himself.
What is known about the plane
- The federal air transport agency Rosaviatsiya said the Antonov-12 was making a return flight after delivering food supplies to the Chukotka Peninsula. According to a source close to emergency services, the plane was transiting two technical stopovers on the route: Yakutsk and Irkutsk.
- A source in aviation services has told TASS that the lost plane had been in service since 1968. Emergency services said that at the moment of departure the plane was in working order.
- The Grodno air carrier, as follows from information available on its website, operates a fleet of one Antonov-30, one Antonov-32, three Antonov-32, three Antonov-12 and eleven Antonov-2. The company uses Antonov-12 for cargo flights.