Cargo plane crash kills 11 in Russian far east

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Aug 2011

Avis-Amur, the private airline company which had leased the crashed Cargo-plane in Russia, is probed for safety violations after 11 on board are killed

A cargo plane crashed in Russia's far eastern Kolyma region on Tuesday, killing 11 people after its engine failed, Interfax cited the regional transport prosecutor as saying.

The Antonov-12, which was delivering food products to the far-flung region of Chukotka, caught fire and requested to make an emergency return to the city of Magadan soon after take off.

"(The airplane was carrying) nine crew members and two passengers, as well as 16 tonnes of food products," said a statement from the prosecutor's website. Interfax news agency cited the office as saying all those on board had died.

A search and rescue team had been sent out earlier on Tuesday to find the craft and those on board.

The crash is the latest in a string of transport accidents that have prompted Russia's leaders to condemn the country's dilapidated infrastructure and endemic corner-cutting on safety ahead of parliamentary elections in December and a presidential poll next March.

The An-12 had been leased to private airline company Avis-Amur, which the prosecutor's office said was being probed for possible safety violations that may have led to the accident.

Avis Amur was not available for comment.

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