Russian plane crash-lands; most of 39 on board hurt
A Russian military plane crash-landed on Monday while approaching an Arctic airport, injuring most of the 39 people on board, officials said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane, an Il-18 turboprop, crash-landed near the town of Tiksi in the Sakha-Yakutia region on the Laptev Sea. The plane carrying 32 passengers and a crew of seven was flying from Kansk in eastern Siberia, around 2,300 kilometers southwest of Tiksi.
Rescue helicopters evacuated people from the crash site, and 32 were hospitalized in Tiksi, including 16 in grave condition, the ministry said.
An Il-76 military transport aircraft equipped with life- support equipment flew to Tiksi to bring the injured to the main military hospitals in Moscow for treatment, according to the ministry.
The plane’s data recorders were recovered from the site, but the cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known.
High winds may have forced the plane to make an emergency landing, Alexei Kolodeznikov, the deputy head of the regional government, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
The Defense Ministry said a team of military investigators were flown to the crash site.
Tiksi, a coastal town of around 5,000 people inside the Arctic circle, has a Soviet-era military air base that has been renovated in recent years.