According to the Emergencies Ministry, a plane carrying a group of parachute jumpers crashed shortly after takeoff in the Russian region of Tatarstan early on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six.
The pilots reported that their left engine had failed at a height of 70 meters and attempted an emergency landing near the city of Menzelinsk, trying to turn the plane leftward to avoid an inhabited area, according to the regional governor.
However, as the plane landed, its wing collided with a Gazelle vehicle, causing it to overturn, according to Tatarstan’s governor, Rustam Minnikhanov.
The plane was carrying 20 parachutists and two crew members. Six people were in critical condition, according to the Health Ministry.
The Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range transport aircraft was owned by a Menzelinsk aeroclub. The aeroclub declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation by law enforcement.
Cosmonauts train in the area, and the aeroclub has hosted local, European, and world championships, according to the club’s director, Ravil Nurmukhametov, according to TASS.
The Investigative Committee, which investigates serious crimes, announced the launch of a criminal investigation into a possible violation of safety regulations.
According to TASS, the state-run Cosmonaut Training Centre has severed ties with the aeroclub pending an investigation.
Photographs of some of the parachutists on board posing in kit or with a plane were shared on the REN TV channel and social media.
Although Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years, accidents still occur, particularly in remote areas.A Russian film crew sets off into space to make the world’s first movie in space
Last month, an aging Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in Russia’s far east, killing six people. In July, all 28 people on board an Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop were killed in a crash in Kamchatka.
Image Credit: Image: Russia’s Emergencies Ministry/Handout via ReutersRead on Reuters