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Russian transport plane crashes in Syria

Preliminary data suggests the crash could have been caused by technical malfunction

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Antonov-26 transport plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday as it was about to land killing 32 people, the Defense Ministry has said.

"On March 6, Russia’s Antonov-26 transport plane crashed at about 15:00 Moscow time as it was about to land at Hmeymim airdrome. According to preliminary data, there were 26 passengers and six crew members on board. Nobody survived," the ministry's report states.

The defence ministry is investigating the crash, but preliminary data suggests it could be a technical malfunction. A commission to examine all possible versions of the crash has been set up. 

"According to preliminary information, a technical problem could have been the cause of the crash.The plane hit the ground when it was about 500 meters short of the runway," the Defense Ministry said.

"According to reports from the scene, no fire was delivered against the plane," the ministry added.