Thursday, December 30, 2010

Giant Russian cargo plane crashes, 12 killed

A giant Russian military cargo plane carrying 12 air crew members has crashed in a rural area in Tula region, central Russia during a training on Tuesday.
Moscow media said that the old Antonov An-22, a Soviet-era turboprop plane may have suffered from electrical failure.
The plane built in 1974 took off from Voronezh at 21:00 (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday bound to Migalovo airport in Tver when it shortly vanished from radar screens.
Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion.
AFP news said the wreckage was found from Troitskoye village scattered in a field of 4km (2.5mi) and leaving a crater of 5m (16ft) deep.
To avoid further accidents, Russia grounded all similar planes with the same engine.
The crashed plane--also called the Anteus--is believed to be one of only five An-22 cargo planes still being used in the Russian military. It has the capacity to carry 60 tons of cargo and 151 paratroopers or 300 soldiers with infantry weapons.
The bad weather conditions made it difficult to search for the plane, but earlier reports made no mention of blizzards as a cause of the crash, which made electrical malfunction the initial likely cause.
Russian military prosecutors are investigating the case for possible violation of air transport and safety law.
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