The rescue teams found this Friday “miraculously” alive the 18 passengers of a airplane that had disappeared hours before the radars in Siberia, Russia. The ship was forced to make an emergency landing in the taiga.
The plane An-28, operated by the company “Siberian Light Aviation” (Sila), was traveling from the small town of Kedrovy to Tomsk when it “stopped communicating” around 5:00 p.m. local time.
Initially, the Regional Ministry of Emergency Situations indicated that the An-28 had been located and appeared to have made an “emergency landing”, and that rescuers had seen the survivors from the air.
Several MI-8 helicopters were immediately dispatched in search of the AN-28 in the southern Tomsk region.
Almost two hours after its distress signal was activated, the plane was found.
“The 15 passengers and three crew members were found. All the people who were on board are alive.” Announced the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia in a statement sent to AFP, specifying that the survivors were currently being transported to the city of Tomsk.
According to the statement, the plane was found about 150 kilometers west of Tomsk, the capital of the region.
There is no regretting serious injuries among the survivors, as the doctors “mainly recorded bruises and minor injuries,” according to the note issued by regional authorities.
“We all believed in a miracle. And thanks to the professionalism of the pilots, they are all alive.” Declared the Governor of the Tomsk region, Sergei Zhvachkin, quoted in the press release.
One of the pilots of the plane, Farukh Khasanov, indicated for his part that they had to face “two motor problems” of the device. “Everyone is alive and in good health, that’s the main thing,” he added, quoted by Russian press agencies.
Public images by the Russian media show the badly damaged plane lying in the taiga.
Six of the passengers refused to be airlifted to Tomsk, according to Interfax, after being evacuated from the landing site by helicopter. “They will take you to Tomsk in a minibus,” said local manager Alexey Sevostianov.
Initial sources had reported 17 and later 19 passengers and crew aboard the Antonov.
Citing air sources, TASS reported that the plane passed all technical inspections, but a Sila official told TASS that the plane had been delayed for ten hours due to bad weather conditions.
This accident occurs just over a week after another that happened with an Antonov plane.
On July 6, an An-26 crashed on landing on the Kamchatka Peninsula (Far East), killing all 28 people on board.
Essentially manufactured in Soviet times, Antonovs continue to be used throughout the former USSR in civil and military aviation.
They have been involved in several fatal accidents in recent years.
According to Interfax, the plane that crashed on Friday was built in 1989 and was operated by the national company Aeroflot, then in Kyrgyzstan, before being handed over to Sila in 2014.
This type of short-haul aircraft has a capacity of 17 passengers.
Russia, long known for its many plane crashes, has significantly improved its aviation safety since the 2000s as the country’s major airlines switched from old Soviet planes to more modern ones.
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