According to the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, a plane carrying a group of parachute jumpers crashed in the Russian region of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six, Reuters reported.
A group of parachute jumpers was onboard the plane
The plane, which crashed near Menzelinsky, was carrying 20 parachutists and two crew members. Six people were in critical condition, according to the Health Ministry.
Images published by the ministry showed the aircraft broken in half with a severely dented nose.
The plane was a Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine short-range transport plane owned by an aeroclub in Menzelinsk, according to the TASS news agency.
Cosmonauts train in the area, and the aeroclub has hosted local, European, and world championships, according to the club’s director, Ravil Nurmukhametov, as quoted by TASS.
According to TASS, the state-run Cosmonaut Training Facility has cut ties with the aeroclub pending an investigation.
According to local authorities, one of the engines may have failed.
Photographs of some of the parachutists on board posing in kit or with a plane were shared on the REN TV channel and social media.
The third major Russian plane crash in three months
Although Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years, accidents still occur, particularly in remote areas.
Last month, an aging Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in Russia’s far east, killing six people. In July, all 28 people on board an Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop were killed in a crash in Kamchatka.
Flying in Russia can be particularly dangerous in the vast country’s isolated regions, such as the Arctic and the Far East, where weather conditions are frequently extreme.