Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Search continues for missing plane in Sverdlovsk region

Approximately 100 volunteers joined the search operation on Friday for an An-2 plane that went missing on June 11 after an unauthorized take off in the Sverdlovsk region.

Additionally, members of the Karpinsky rescue team have been rafting down the Kakva River while divers search the Karpinsky canal near the town of Serov where the plane took off. The volunteers plan to interrogate residents of the towns of Severouralsk, Karpinsk and Volchansk. They also plan to comb the area around the Kiselevskoye dim lake, Itar-Tass reports.

Khatib Kashapov, the plane's pilot and a native of Orsk, allegedly imbibed alcohol and took off on the crop-dusting plane without permission on June 11, according to preliminary data. The plane is owned by the Chelyabinsk-based Avi Zov. Dmitry Ushakov, the chief of Serov's traffic police is thought to be one of the passengers, Interfax reports.

Other passengers on board were believed to be an officer of a private bodyguard company, a traffic police officer, a salesman from a telecom shop and a businessman, among others. The plane may have been carrying as many as 13 passengers, including Kashapov. No one believed to be on the plane answered their mobile phones after the plane went missing.

A criminal case has been opened on charges of aircraft operation and air traffic safety violations that resulted in the possible death of one or more individuals.