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Firefighting plane lost in Russia

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By Catherine Hardy
Firefighting plane lost in Russia

One of the world’s biggest firefighting planes has gone missing while tackling a huge blaze in a forest in the Irkutsk region of Russia.

A spokesperson for the regional emergency services has told the TASS news agency that communication with the Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft has been lost and a search is underway.

The region is described as remote and difficult to access.

What we know

  • Plane was in the district of Bayanderovsky
  • 11 crew and fire-fighters on board
  • Flying at an altitude of 3,000 metres
  • Last contact was at 0534 local time
  • Aircraft was in “good condition”

A source says the aircraft was in good working order and its next regular maintenance check was not due for another 267 hours flight time.

“The plane had passed all the required pre-flight procedures and it was technically faultless.”

The Russian Emergencies Ministry’s main department for the Irkutsk region confirmed that an Il-76 plane belonging to the ministry has gone missing.

“Aircraft, including several Yakovlev Yak planes, have been sent to the Kachugsky district to search for the missing plane,” a statement says.