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Russian cargo plane carrying up to 11 missing: ministry

09 august 2011, 16:58
An-12 plane. ©RIA Novosti
An-12 plane. ©RIA Novosti
Russian rescuers searched Tuesday for a cargo plane carrying up to 11 people which disappeared after asking to make an emergency landing in the far-northern Magadan region, AFP reports, citing officials.

"An An-12 plane disappeared from the radars at 0734 Moscow time (0334 GMT) 310 kilometers (192 miles) northeast of Magadan" after requesting to make an emergency landing at the Magadan airport, RIA Novosti quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.

The plane departed Komsomolsk-on-Amur and was bound for Keperveyem in Russia's remote Chukotka region carrying cargo. "There were from nine to 11 people on board," a spokesman for Russia's aviation agency told AFP.

The plane belongs to Avis-Amur, a Khabarovsk-based company, he said. The RussianPlanes.net aircraft register said the missing jet is the oldest An-12 in civilian use in Russia, made in 1963.

The four engine turboprop is used by both military and civilian organisations. In 2008, nine people died when a similar plane crashed near the city of Chelyabinsk after colliding with power lines.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this summer recommended removing two Soviet-era jets, the An-24 and Tu-134, from regular use by the end of the year after two crashes killed 54 people in three weeks.

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