YEKATERINBURG, March 6. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the phone on the An-26 military transport plane’s crash in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
The Russian president conveyed his condolences to the relatives of those who died in the plane’s crash, the spokesman said.
"Putin, who is on a working visit to the Sverdlovsk Region, listened to a report by Defense Minister Shoigu over the phone on the crash of the An-26 plane near the Hmeymim airbase. The president got the latest information available as of now," the presidential spokesman said.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, "at about 3:00 p.m. Moscow time on March 6, a Russian An-26 transport plane crashed during its landing approach at the Hmeymim aerodrome. According to preliminary data, there were 26 passengers and six crewmembers aboard the aircraft. All of them died."
A technical fault could have been the cause of the plane’s crash, the ministry said.
"The plane hit the ground when it was about 500 meters short of the runway," the Defense Ministry said.
"According to a report from the scene, no fire was delivered against the plane. A commission of Russia’s Defense Ministry will examine all possible versions of the crash," the ministry added.