Thursday, August 17, 2017

Officials investigate text message from missing An-22 pilot

Investigators from the Russian Investigative Committee are gathering information regarding an SMS text message recently received by relatives of Khatip Kashapov, the pilot of the missing An-2 plane that disappeared in 2012.

"We check the information received from Khatip Kashapov's son, who said that he had an SMS message sent from his father's number that the user was within the zone of the network operation," investigator Irinia Sarkisyan said, according to Itar-Tass.

Officials are currently gathering reports furnished by the telephone company.

The criminal investigation into the disappearance of the An-2 passenger plane was initially launched in June under suspicions of airplane safety violations. Inquiries were suspended in October and have since been resumed following the receipt of the text message from the pilot.

Piloted by Kashapov, the An-2 plane departed from the Urals on June 11 with 12 passengers aboard. At the time of the plane's departure, Kashapov did not have permission to pilot the flight. The search for the missing plane and its passengers extended into the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions until rescue operations were halted in November.

Sverdlovsk regional governor Yevgeny Kuivashev said that search missions may resume later this month, Itar-Tass reports.