16 Dead In Russian Plane Crash

Sixteen people were killed when a plane carrying parachutists crashed in central Russia on Sunday, the emergencies ministry said.

The L-410 plane carrying 22 people crashed around 9:23 am (0623 GMT) near the town of Menzelinsk in the republic of Tatarstan, the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

“Six people were rescued, 16 were taken out without signs of life,” the ministry said.

The ministry had earlier said 15 people died and that the aircraft was carrying 23 people.

While the Menzelinsk club organises skydiving experiences for amateurs it has also hosted championships and training sessions for cosmonauts.

Images published by the ministry showed the aircraft broken in half with a severely dented nose.

The six survivors were taken to hospital, the local health ministry told the Interfax news agency.

Tatarstan head Rustam Minnikhanov, who travelled to the scene, said pilots had reported an engine failure and requested an emergency landing shortly after taking off.

He said the plane tried to avoid a nearby residential area as it approached for landing but “the altitude didn’t allow it”.

The plane hit a parked van with its wing and the aircraft turned over.

All the survivors were sitting in the back of the plane, club instructor Oleg Shiporov told TASS news agency.

Russian investigators have launched a criminal probe over the violation of safety rules.

Monday has been declared a day of mourning in Tatarstan.