MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Former Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Head of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev has warned against rushing into hasty conclusions regarding the causes of the plane crash near Hmeymim airbase, without waiting for the examination results.
He offered his condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the plane crash. "This is a tremendous tragedy. It is always hard to talk about that. I am sure though that all possible measures will be taken to prevent the accident from being repeated. I am certain that those who lost their relatives in today’s plane crash will receive proper government support," Bondarev said.
"Of course, it is necessary to study all possible versions of what happened. Judging by my past experience, I can say that An-26 is a reliable military transport aircraft, it has excellent technical specifications, and it is always checked before takeoff. Anyway, it is too early to say something immediately after the crash. Before drawing conclusions on the causes of the crash, it is necessary to perform an expert examination and investigate the accident extensively," he stressed.
Bondarev expressed confidence that the tragedy would be investigated thoroughly, and the causes of the plane crash would be revealed.
Russia’s Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed while landing at Hmeymim airfield at around 15:00 Moscow time on March 6. The plane hit the ground when it was about 500 meters short of the runway. All the crew members and passengers were killed. According to preliminary information, a technical malfunction could have been the cause of the plane’s crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said.