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Six people killed after plane crashes in Russia's Far East

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By AFP with Euronews
The Antonov AN-26 aircraft crashed in moutainous terrain.
The Antonov AN-26 aircraft crashed in moutainous terrain.   -   Copyright  Russian Emergency Situations Ministry for the Khabarovsk Territory
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Six people have died after a small plane crashed in Russia's Far East, authorities say.

The Russian emergency ministry said the AN-26 aircraft went missing 38 kilometres from the city of Khabarovsk on Wednesday evening.

Officials presumed that the plane disappeared over the Khekhtsir nature reserve while making a "technical" flight.

"According to preliminary data, there were 6 flight personnel on board," the ministry said in a preliminary statement.

On Thursday, authorities confirmed that they had discovered the plane's wreckage in a forest area near the ​​Khrebtovaya mountain.

"Due to tall trees, as well as strong gusts of wind ... it is impossible for an aircraft to land in the area of ​​the incident," the ministry added.

"It took the rescuers more than five hours to cover the path on foot through the rugged terrain."

"Unfortunately, as a result of the disaster, there are no survivors."

More than 140 rescuers and several reconnaissance aircraft had been deployed to the suspected crash site.

The ministry said that the initial search for the aircraft had been complicated by "unfavourable weather conditions and mountainous terrain."

The AN-26 is a medium-haul transport plane produced by Soviet manufacturer Antonov in the 1970s and 1980s and is used mainly to transport civilian cargo or soldiers and military equipment.

Accidents involving dilapidated aircraft in Russia's wild and remote Far East are still common.

In August, eight people were killed when a Mi-8 helicopter, with 16 people on board, crashed into a lake on the volcanic Kamchatka peninsula due to poor visibility.

In July, an airliner with 22 passengers and six crew members on board crashed as it was about to land in Kamchatka, leaving no survivors.