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Bodies recovered from scene of Russian plane crash near Palana

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
Emergency workers pictured at the wreckage of a missing Antonov An-26 aircraft near Palana.
Emergency workers pictured at the wreckage of a missing Antonov An-26 aircraft near Palana.   -   Copyright  Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP
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Rescuers say they have found the bodies of all 28 victims after a plane crashed in a remote area of Russia’s Far East.

An Antonov An-26 airliner went down near its destination town of Palana in the region of Kamchatka on Tuesday morning.

The plane had taken off from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky when it missed a scheduled communication and disappeared from radar.

The wreckage of the aircraft was found that evening on a coastal cliffside and in the Okhotsk Sea. None of the six crew members or 22 passengers on board survived the crash.

One of the plane’s two black boxes also was recovered, local officials said on Friday.

Police are still investigating the incident, looking at three possible causes of the crash — bad weather, equipment malfunction, or pilot error.

"A group of 51 rescuers is working on the spot on foot," the local emergency ministry had said in a statement on Wednesday.

The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was among the passengers, spokespeople of the Kamchatka government said.

Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP
Part of the wreckage of the missing Antonov An-26 missing plane was found in a coastal cliff area.Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP

The governor of Kamchatka, Vladimir Solodov, said that a group of government officials including Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev will head to Palana on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of the crash, the authorities in Kamchatka have declared three days of mourning.

Officials also said that families of the victims will receive payments of more than 3.5 million rubles (€40,000) that will include compensation from the airline, an insurance payment, and a subsidy from the regional government.

President Vladimir Putin has extended his condolences to the families of the victims.

In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying the same route as Tuesday’s flight. Ten of the 14 people on board were killed.