Russian plane plunges to earth after takeoff in crash that kills 16 and injures six

A plane carrying a group of parachutists immediately crashed after takeoff in central Russia early on Sunday, killing 16 people on board and injuring another six, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop carrying 20 parachute jumpers and two crew members, crashed immediately after take-off near Menzelinsk in the region of Tatarstan about 600 miles east of Moscow.

The plane belonged to the Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy of Russia, which describes itself as a sports and defence organisation, Russian media said. The aeroclub declined to comment, citing a law enforcement investigation into the incident.

The Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said it had opened a criminal investigation into a suspected violation of safety regulations. 

Tatarstan Governor Rustam Minnikhanov said the pilots reported that their left engine had failed and attempted an emergency landing. But the aircraft’s wing hit a Gazelle vehicle and the plane overturned. 

Images published by the Emergencies Ministry showed the aircraft broken in half with a severely dented nose at the crash site. 

A plane carrying a group of parachutists immediately crashed after takeoff in central Russia early on Sunday, killing 16 people on board and injuring another six

A plane carrying a group of parachutists immediately crashed after takeoff in central Russia early on Sunday, killing 16 people on board and injuring another six

A plane carrying a group of parachutists immediately crashed after takeoff in central Russia early on Sunday, killing 16 people on board and injuring another six 

This video-grab image taken from a handout video and released on October 10, 2021 by the Russia's Emergencies Ministry shows rescuers working at the crash site of the L-410 plane crash near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan

This video-grab image taken from a handout video and released on October 10, 2021 by the Russia's Emergencies Ministry shows rescuers working at the crash site of the L-410 plane crash near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan

This video-grab image taken from a handout video and released on October 10, 2021 by the Russia’s Emergencies Ministry shows rescuers working at the crash site of the L-410 plane crash near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan

An aerial view of the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

An aerial view of the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

An aerial view of the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

This map shows the site of the plane crash in Menzelinsk, Tartarstan, in central Russia

This map shows the site of the plane crash in Menzelinsk, Tartarstan, in central Russia

This map shows the site of the plane crash in Menzelinsk, Tartarstan, in central Russia

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

People bring flowers to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

People bring flowers to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

People bring flowers to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop carrying 20 parachute jumpers and two crew members, crashed immediately after take-off near Menzelinsk in the region of Tatarstan about 600 miles east of Moscow

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop carrying 20 parachute jumpers and two crew members, crashed immediately after take-off near Menzelinsk in the region of Tatarstan about 600 miles east of Moscow

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop carrying 20 parachute jumpers and two crew members, crashed immediately after take-off near Menzelinsk in the region of Tatarstan about 600 miles east of Moscow 

Cosmonauts use the area for training and the aeroclub has hosted local, European championships and one world championship, the club’s director Ravil Nurmukhametov said, according to TASS.

The state-run Cosmonaut Training Centre has suspended its ties with the aeroclub pending an investigation, TASS cited a source as saying.

Photographs of some of the parachutists on board posing in kit or with a plane were circulated on the REN TV channel and on social media.

The site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

The site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

The site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Flowers are brought to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

Flowers are brought to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

Flowers are brought to the Menzelinsk branch of Tatarstans Central DOSAAF Aero Club in memory of the victims of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Pictured in this video screen grab is the site of the crash of a Let L-410 Turbolet short-range transport aircraft belonging to an aero club in the town of Menzelinsk

Emergency specialists work at the crash site of the L-410 plane near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

Emergency specialists work at the crash site of the L-410 plane near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

Emergency specialists work at the crash site of the L-410 plane near the town of Menzelinsk in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

In a statement, the Russian ministry said: ‘Fire and rescue units are at the scene, there are 23 people on board, three people have been rescued, further rescue operations are underway.’ 

Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years but accidents continue to happen, particularly in remote regions.

An ageing Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in the Russian far east last month killing six people. All 28 people on board an Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop died in a crash in Kamchatka in July.

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