Monday, June 18, 2018

Search continues for missing An-2 airplane

Rescuers were sent to inspect an area along the River Sosva as part of a continued operation to locate an An-2 airplane that went missing three weeks ago with 13 people on board.

The latest search operation involves 500 rescuers and 94 vehicles, including boats.

"Rescuers are combing an area between the settlements of Andianovichi and Cheroyarsky near the town of Serov," a spokesman said, according to Itar-Tass. "In all, since the beginning of the search operation, about 260,000 square kilometers have been surveyed, including 13,000 square kilometers combed by ground search parties."

Governor of the Sverdlovsk region Yevgeny Kuivashev said that the conditions of the rescue efforts are "next to extreme."

Searches are also being conducted in such neighboring regions as the Khanty-Mansi autonomous area, Chelyabinsk Kurgan and Tyumen.

Preliminary data suggests that on the evening on June 11, the plane's pilot, Khatib Kashapov, a native of the town of Orsk's Orenburg region, illegally took off in an An-2. The plane belongs to Avi Zov, a company based in Chelyabinsk. Among the plane's 12 passengers was the chief of Serov's traffic police, a traffic police officer, an officer of a private bodyguard company, a businessman, a salesman from a telecom shop, and others, according to Itar-Tass.

A criminal case was opened on charges of violations of air traffic safety and aircraft operation rules that resulted in the death through negligence of one or more people, Itar-Tass reports.