At least 32 people were killed when a plane carrying 43 people, including children, crashed soon after takeoff in Siberia on Monday. The ATR-72 twin-engine airliner was flying from the western Siberian city of Tyumen to the oil town of Surgut.
The airplane crashed 30 kilometres away from Tyumen, Irina Andrianova, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass. Rescuers are still working on the crash site and 16 bodies have been recovered so far, the spokesperson added.
As many as 39 passengers and four crew were on board the plane. Thirteen survivers were pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Tyumen's City Hospital, but two of them later died. Most of the survivors have sustained serious injuries and burns and at least five are in a critical condition, an Associated Press report said.
The cause of the crash is not known yet and a criminal probe has been launched into the accident, according to local media reports.
Yuri Alekhin, head of the regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry, told Russian television that contact was lost with the plane just over three minutes after take-off. He added that there are no explanations to the incident yet and the black box flight recorder had been found, according to the Reuters report.
The Emergencies Ministry has opened a hotline for the relatives of those onboard (8-800-775-17-17), in order to provide information and assistance.
ATR-72 is a French-Italian-made twin-engine turboprop passenger airliner that can be used to fly medium distances with maximum 74 passengers.