Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sverdlovsk region continues to search for missing plane

Rescuers with Russia's Emergency Situation Ministry have examined approximately 145,000 square kilometers of Sverdlovsk region terrain searching for an An-2 plane that went missing two weeks ago.

The plane is being searched for concurrently in the Kurgan, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions, along with the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, Itar-Tass reports.

On June 11, a group of people drank alcohol and boarded the plane in Serov, leaving several cars behind in the airfield. The plane had as many as 13 people on board including the pilot.

"Nobody has suggested calling off the search yet," an official at the regional department of EMERCOM, said, according to Itar-Tass. "The search efforts involve 1,400 persons and 13 aircraft. A total of 145,000 square kilometers of area have been searched since the beginning of the rescue efforts."

Khatib Kashapov, an Orenburg region resident who may have piloted the plane, did not have the permission of the Avi Zov company, the plane's owner.

The passengers on board may have included the road police chief of Serov, a road policemen, a pensioner, a businessman, a guard and a mobile phone seller among others. Criminal proceedings have begun over the plane's disappearance on charges of violating aircraft operation regulations and traffic rules resulting in a negligent death of two or more people, according to Itar-Tass.

Sverdlovsk region governor Yevgeny Kuivashev has demanded a probe into the incident and a thorough check of all airfields with small-range crafts for flight safety rule compliance.