At least 16 people died in an accident in the Russian republic of Tatarstan. Several survivors of the crash were seriously injured.
Menselinsk – A plane with more than 20 people on board crashed on Sunday in the Russian republic of Tatarstan shortly after take-off from a height of about 70 meters. At least 16 people died, the Russian Ministry of Civil Protection announced.
On board were parachutists from a regional aero club. Six people are said to have survived the crash of the light twin-engine L-410 transport aircraft near an airfield in the city of Menselinsk – with serious injuries. Criminal proceedings have been initiated for breach of security regulations.
Initially, there was talk of seven injured. According to the local health ministry, one man died in the hospital. The President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnichanow, expressed his condolences to the relatives of the victims and ordered a “day of mourning” this Monday for the entire republic. The crash site is 290 kilometers east of the Tatar republic capital Kazan.
Minnichanov said at the scene of the accident that the pilots had informed shortly after take-off that the left engine had failed. They therefore planned an emergency landing. When approaching for landing, the machine is said to have hit a truck and rolled over. According to the latest information, there were 2 pilots and 20 passengers on board.
Exact cause still unknown
The investigative committee published pictures and a video of the wreck in a pile of logs. Accordingly, the machine crashed on the ground near a village. Helpers reported that the plane caught fire and that the fire was quickly extinguished. The cause of the crash was suspected to be an overloading of the aircraft or a technical failure.
The machine, made in Czechoslovakia, had been in use since 1987 – initially with the armed forces of the Soviet Union, which was dissolved as a communist state 30 years ago. According to the instructor Oleg Schiporow, the L-410 was flown by experienced pilots at the aeroclub. According to his account, there were also new members among the parachutists who had an accident on Sunday.
Dozens of people have already died in several aviation accidents in Russia this year. The reasons are often violations of safety regulations, outdated technology or human error. dpa