World - - Dec 19,2016
Russian Defense Ministry’s IL-18 air plane with 39 people on board crashed in Yakutia in Siberia while trying to make an emergency landing near a military base of the Soviet era.
Russian news agencies earlier reported the death of 27 people, but later corrected the reports saying there were no casualties as yet. 32 people have been airlifted to a nearby hospital, 16 of which are in a critical condition.
The Il-18 aircraft carrying out a scheduled flight from Kansk came down around 30 km from an airfield near the town of Tiksi in the Sakha Republic at around 4:45 a.m. local time, according to the TASS news agency.
Out of the 39 people, 7 were members of the crew while the other 32 were passengers. Weather conditions were reportedly grim when the crash happened. A spokesperson for the regional government said that high winds might have forced the plane to make an emergency landing. The plane broke into three pieces due to a severe gusting side wind during this emergency landing.
The Defense Ministry has sent a team of 100 military investigators at the crash site. Several Mi-8 helicopters have also been dispatched to the crash site by Russia’s Emergency Ministry.
The IL-18 plane which made its first flight in 1957, became one of the best-known and most durable Soviet aircraft of those times. It has been one of the world’s principal airliners for several decades and was widely exported due to its durability, with many planes reaching up to 45,000 flight hours and being available for use, mostly in the military sector.
Tiksi is a small coastal town of around 5,000 people inside the Arctic Circle, having a Soviet-era military air base that has been renovated in recent years after President Vladimir Putin decided to remilitarize the Arctic.