, MOSCOW, Aug 3 – Eleven people were killed and four injured on Tuesday when a Russian passenger plane crashed on landing in fog close an airport in the Far North of Siberia, investigators said.
The An-24 aircraft carrying four crew and 11 passengers was flying from the central Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk to the town of Igarka in the north of the same region.
"As a result of the crash, one member of the crew and 10 passengers were killed," the investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement.
"The captain of the plane, the co-pilot, the mechanic and one passenger have been hospitalised," it added.
A investigation has been opened into possible criminal infringements of the rules of air travel security and a group of investigators are already at the scene of the disaster.
The dead included one child, it said.
The ITAR-TASS news agency said that medics were fighting for the life of the injured passenger — a local interior ministry official — while the condition of the other three was said to be satisfactory.
According to the aviation authority Rosaviatsia, heavy rain was falling at the time of the crash but conditions were still adequate for landing.
"But instead of a direct landing trajectory, the plane veered to the right and hit the ground before the landing strip at a distance of 700 metres," ITAR-TASS cited an official in the authority as saying.
Although air security in Russia has tightened in the last years, disasters still occur relatively frequently due to antiquated equipment and poor observance of safety rules.
Reports said earlier the plane, which belonged to local airline Katekavia, exploded into a fireball on landing, with the survivors pulled from the wreckage.
The An-24 was a warhorse of Soviet civil aviation. One thousand units were made in the Soviet Union before production stopped in 1979. The plane has been involved in a string of deadly crashes in Russia in recent years.
In 1997, 50 people were killed in an An-24 crash in Russia\’s south while 28 were killed in a crash in the Far North in 2005.
Despite its age, the plane is still widely used by airlines throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union.