Workers begin recovering bodies from plane crash in Russia’s Far East region

Wreckage of Antonov An-26
Wreckage of a crashed Antonov An-26 has been found outside the town of Palana, in Russia’s Far East region.
(Russia Emergency Situations Ministry)

Rescuers have found the bodies of 19 victims a day after a plane crash in a remote area in Russia’s Far East, local authorities said.

An Antonov An-26 carrying 28 people crashed Tuesday near its destination of Palana in the Kamchatka region, apparently as it came in for a landing in bad weather.

Wreckage was found Tuesday evening on a coastal cliffside and in the sea. The search-and-rescue operation was suspended until Wednesday morning after night fell, as the crash site was difficult to access in the dark.


The governor of Kamchatka, Vladimir Solodov, told the state news agency Tass that the “first bodies are being pulled out” of the water. Russia’s Emergency Ministry said that nine bodies have been found so far, and one has already been identified.

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Russian media reported Tuesday that none of the six crew members or 22 passengers on board had survived. The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was among the passengers, spokespeople for the Kamchatka government said.

Solodov said Tuesday that a group of government officials, including Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev, would head to Palana on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of the crash, the authorities in Kamchatka have declared three days of mourning. Officials said that families of the victims will receive payments of more than 3.5 million rubles (about $47,200) that will include compensation from the airline, an insurance payment and a subsidy from the regional government.

In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying the same route as Tuesday’s flight. Ten of the 14 people on board were killed. Both pilots, who were among the dead, were found to have alcohol in their blood, Tass reported.