Russian plane crashes in Tatarstan region, 16 dead
MOSCOW — A plane carrying a group of paratroopers crashed in the Russian region of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six, the Emergencies Ministry said.
The plane, which crashed near the town of Menzelinsky, was carrying 20 paratroopers and two crew members. Six people were in serious condition, the health ministry said.
A Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, the aircraft belonged to a flying club in the city of Menzelinsk, the TASS news agency reported.
Cosmonauts use the area for training and the flying club has hosted local, European and world championships, club director Ravil Nurmukhametov was quoted by TASS as saying.
The state-run cosmonaut training center has suspended ties with the flying club pending an investigation, TASS quoted a source as saying.
RIA quoted local authorities as saying one of the engines could have failed.
Photographs of some of the paratroopers on board posing in kit form or with an aircraft were shown on the REN TV channel and on social media.
Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years, but accidents continue to occur, especially in remote areas.
An aging Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in the Russian Far East last month, killing six people. All 28 people aboard an Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop died in an accident in Kamchatka in July.