The plane crashed as it was preparing to land
The An-24 airplane of Regional Airlines crashed in Russia's Far North (the Nenets autonomous region), yesterday, on March 16th. There were 53 people on board the plane – eight crewmembers and 45 passengers, RIA Novosti reports. The passengers were the employees of the oil company Naryan-Mar-Neftegaz. According to the latest information, 29 people were killed in the plane crash and 24 were hospitalized with injuries and burns.
The crashed An-24 plane was made in 1972. The plane has been repaired ten times since the production date. The Kemerovo-based company Regional Airlines has been using the plane since May of 2004. Spokespeople for the airline said that the plane was in a good condition, taking into consideration its recent capital repairs in 2002. The plane had the complete set of licenses to fly on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Specialists have already found black boxes on the crash site in the Nenets region, Russian Minister for Transport, Igor Levitin said. The minister added that the plane could crash because of side wind, the crews' insufficient knowledge of the local area, or a technical malfunction of the jet.
Investigators are currently considering the above-mentioned three versions of the accident, Interfax reports. Spokespeople for Russia's Emergency Ministry in the Nenets region said that the weather was flight-friendly during the time when the plane crashed. It was also said that the crewmembers of the plane were experienced pilots.