Airliner crashes into the sea in Russia’s Far East

Moscow (CNN) – A passenger plane with 28 people on board crashed into the sea off the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far east on Tuesday, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The plane, a Russian-made Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop, was flying from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the northern Kamchatka village of Palana when a scheduled communication was lost and disappeared from radar, according to officials from the emergency and transportation.

There were 22 passengers and six crew members on board, Russia’s emergency ministry said. Two passengers were children under the age of 12, according to Alexander Zabolichenko, vice president of the Kamchatka government.

Search and rescue operations are underway. Several boats have been sent to search for the plane, RIA reported, citing emergency services.

“The rescue troops are ready to move from Palana to the detection point of the aircraft,” the regional government said in an official statement to Sputnik.

An investigation into aircraft safety compliance has been launched. “If violations are detected, response measures from the prosecution will be taken,” the Kamchatka transport prosecutor’s office told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

The weather was cloudy and hazy at the time and the accident may have occurred due to a piloting error with poor visibility, TASS reported, citing an emergency services source.

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