A military transport plane with six people on board vanished off radars in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk region, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry on Wednesday.
The An-26 was performing a “technical flight” when its communication systems stopped sending signals 38 kilometers from the Khabarovsk city airport, according to the ministry’s statement.
Meantime, a Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) helicopter and a rescue team have been dispatched to find the missing aircraft.
“The search is complicated by the dark time of day and unfavorable weather conditions,” the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement on its website.
Citing an unnamed source, Interfax reported that the plane is believed to have crashed in the Bolshekhekhtsirsky Nature Reserve outside Khabarovsk while performing a low-altitude flight at 600 meters.
The report added that the An-26 has been in operation since 1979 and was used by the company Flight Inspections and Systems as an “air laboratory” for the past 15 years.
In July, an An-26 passenger plane carrying 28 people also disappeared in the remote Kamchatka peninsula neighboring the Khabarovsk region. Later, search teams found the wreckage of the plane and no survivors were found.