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  22 Sep 2021, 17:06

Military plane with six on board disappears in Russia 

   MOSCOW, Sept 22, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - A Russian An-26 military transport 
aircraft with six people on board disappeared Wednesday near the Far Eastern 
city of Khabarovsk, the emergencies ministry said. 

   The ministry said that at 6:45 pm local time (0845 GMT) it learned that 
"an An-26 aircraft had disappeared from radar 38 kilometres (23 miles) from 
Khabarovsk airport". 

   "According to preliminary data, there are six people on board," the 
ministry added on its Telegram channel. 

   The ministry said that a helicopter had been dispatched to search for the 
aircraft. 

   The search, however, was complicated by the onset of darkness in 
Khabarovsk and "unfavourable weather conditions", the ministry said. 

   Once notorious for plane accidents, Russia has improved its air traffic 
safety record in recent years. 

   The country's major airlines have shifted from ageing Soviet aircraft to 
more modern planes. 

   But poor aircraft maintenance and lax safety standards still persist, and 
the country has seen several deadly air accidents in recent years. 

   In July, an An-26 aircraft flying over the Far Eastern Kamchatka peninsula 
with 28 people on board disappeared and crashed. 

   All 28 people on board -- 22 passengers, including two minors, and six 
crew -- died. 

   A month later, a Mi-8 helicopter carrying 16 tourists and crew on a 
sightseeing trip in Kamchatka crashed into a lake, killing eight people. 

   Antonov planes were manufactured during the Soviet era and are still used 
throughout the former USSR for civilian and military transport. They have 
been involved in a number of accidents in recent years. 

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