Search On For Missing Cargo Plane

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MOSCOW, Aug. 10 (UPI) — A search was on Wednesday in Russia’s Far East for a cargo plane that crashed with 11 aboard, officials said, denying reports its wreckage had been found.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said it had renewed its search for the Antonov An-12 that was carrying more than 17 tons of food supplies when it crashed Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

The report said the plane disappeared from radar shortly after reporting a fuel leak and fire in an engine following take off from the city of Magadan for Chukotka early Tuesday.

The agency had reported the wreckage had been found near a gold and silver mining operation in the Omsukcha district. However, it quoted the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency as saying the remains of the passengers and crew had not been found.

Authorities said the search effort — conducted by 120 emergency workers using two Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters and a Beriev Be-200 aircraft — was hampered by rain and fog.

RIA Novosti said production of the Antonov An-12, which can accommodate as many as 14 people and carry 22 tons of cargo, stopped in 1973. The craft has been in service since 1963 and is considered obsolete by the Russian Air Force.

The report said the United Arab Emirates banned An-12 flights after a number of crashes.

The Hindu reported the latest incident comes a day after an Antonov An-24 with 41 crew and passengers skidded off the runway while landing in stormy weather in Blagoveshchensk on China’s border, injuring 12 people.

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