Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rescuers to continue search for missing An-2 plane

Plans have been announced to resume the search for an An-2 plane that went missing in the Sverdlovsk region in early June.

The small aircraft took off from the town of Serov with 14 people on board, Itar-Tass reports.

"The worsening weather conditions pose a threat to the health of the people engaged in the search for the crop duster, so a decision was made to withdraw them from the search area. This does not mean we've forgotten the plane. The crews of the planes flying over the possible locations of the missing An-2 are ordered to scan the area. Hunters, fishermen and forest rangers have been advised too. The Ural regional center of the Emergency Situations Ministry is set to resume the search for the crop duster in the most possible locations starting next spring," Director of the Regional Emergency Situations Department Andrei Zalensky said, Itar-Tass reports.

Zalensky does not believe the rescue operations to be unsuccessful or unavailing.

"We've gained a tremendous experience while conducting this unprecedented search and rescue operation, which involved all the municipalities, and various kinds of modern equipment. Psychologists of the emergency medicine center have gained a huge professional experience, too, as have the regional police department and social services. The Rosaviatsia agency spent all the money allocated for the search for the plane. Pilots logged many flight hours to improve their skills. Of course, history will show if we moved in the right direction. The information obtained during the search was not useless," Zalensky said, Itar-Tass reports.

According to regional police, a group of people consumed alcohol and then boarded the plane, leaving several cars behind in the airfield.

Preliminary information said that Khatib Kashapov, a native of the town of Orsk, took off in the crop-duster without permission. Other passengers included the Serov road police chief, a road policeman, a guard, a pensioner, a businessman, a mobile phone seller and others.