MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. A major-general, 26 officers, noncommissioned officers and contract soldiers have been killed in the An-26 plane crash in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
"The tragedy has claimed the lives of 27 officers, including one major-general, along with noncommissioned officers and contract soldiers. There were no civilians aboard the An-26 plane," the ministry noted.
The ministry said weather conditions during the landing were good. The pilot had enough experience and had accumulated over 3,000 logged flight hours.
"During the landing of the An-26 plane, the weather conditions were simple. The plane was performing a flight from Kuveyris Airbase (Aleppo) to Hmeymim. The crew commander was a first-class pilot who had accumulated over 3,000 logged hours flying this type of aircraft," the Defense Ministry said, adding that the pilot performed landings at Hmeymim airbase on numerous occasions.
Russia’s Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed while landing at Hmeymim airfield at around 15:00 Moscow time. 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.