MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti)
A plane crashed on Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Wednesday, killing at least ten people, officials said.
The twin-engine Antonov An-28 was carrying 12 passengers - two of them children - and two crew, investigators say. It had been on a flight from the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Four survivors, including one child, have been taken to hospital in serious condition, emergencies officials said.
The aircraft lost radio contact with traffic control at 12:28 local time [00:28 GMT] shortly before it was due to land at an airfield in the village of Palana, about 990 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It remains unclear what caused the crash.
The pilots had been trying to make an emergency landing when the plane came down in woodland some 10 kilometers from Palana, Kamchatka's special programs minister Sergei Khabanov said earlier on Wednesday.
The plane, which entered service in 1989, belonged to a local state firm, authorities said.
Aircraft are used extensively for transport in Kamchatka, a huge territory where there are many remote sites which are not easily accessible by road.
Investigators have not ruled out mechanical failure, weather or crew error as possible causes of the crash, the Russian aviation safety agency said on its website.
“The investigation is working to establish all circumstances surrounding the accident, including tests of the plane's fuel and examination of the transcript of communications between ground control and the An-28’s crew,” Rosaviatsia said.
Investigators are also interviewing staff at the airport in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky where the plane took off.
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