Twelve people were killed Wednesday when a military plane crashed in central Russia, authorities said.
The An-22 Antonov 'Antei' heavy transport plane crashed in the Tula region south of Moscow. The entire crew of 12 were killed, the Russian Investigative Committee said on its website.
Investigators have found one of the military plane's flight data recorders, said Sergey Zhukov, spokesman for the military branch of the investigative committee, CNN reports.
Russia has grounded all its other An-22s as well as Tu-95MS bombers using the same engines as a precautionary measure. The An-22 aircraft can carry 60 tonnes of cargo, 151 paratroopers or 300 soldiers with infantry weapons.
Blizzard conditions at the scene have made rescue efforts much more difficult, but bad weather is not thought to have been a factor in the accident. Moscow military prosecutors have opened an investigation into the accident under violation of air transport and safety rules, according to Supply Chain Digital.
According to RIA Novosti, A flight recorder and body fragments have been discovered at the central Russian, investigators said Wednesday. Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said however it was too early to speak of finding a black box. "We can't yet identify the discovered pieces as the black boxes," he said.