The plane, a Russian-built Antonov An-26 twin-engined turboprop, was flying from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the village of Palana, in Kamchatka’s north, when it missed a scheduled communication and disappeared from radar, according to local emergency and transport officials.
Russia’s aviation agency told CNN on Tuesday that the wreckage of the plane was found 4 to 5 kilometers from the Palana airport runway.
“Wreckage was found near the hills on the coastline,” a spokesperson for Rosaviation said. Earlier, Russian state new agency RIA Novosti reported the plane was thought to have crashed into the sea.
Citing an unnamed source in the emergency services, Russian state media TASS reported that the plane was believed to have collided into a hill near the village of Palana and that debris had been found in the Sea of Okhotsk. No survivors have been found, the source added.
The weather was cloudy and foggy at the time and the crash may have happened due to a piloting error in poor visibility, TASS reported, citing an emergency services source.
The Rosaviation spokesperson told CNN that search and rescue groups have begun working on the ground, but that “access to the aircraft is difficult” and they had “no information” about possible survivors.
There were 22 passengers and six crew members on board the plane, Russia’s emergencies ministry said. Two passengers were children under the age of 12, according to Alexander Zabolichenko, deputy chairman of the Kamchatka government.
An investigation has been launched into safety compliance of the plane. “If violations are detected, prosecutorial response measures will be taken,” the Kamchatka transport prosecutor’s office told TASS.
This story has been updated with new information about the location of the crash.