MOSCOW (AP) — Rescuers have recovered the bodies of all 28 people who were on a plane that crashed in a remote area in Russia’s Far East this week, local officials said Friday. One of the plane's black boxes was also recovered along with fragments of another.
The Antonov An-26 crashed Tuesday near its destination in the Kamchatkatown region town of Palana, apparently as it came in for a landing in bad weather. The plane was en route from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana when it missed a scheduled communication and disappeared from radar. None of the six crew members or 22 passengers on board survived the crash.
Wreckage was found Tuesday evening on a coastal cliffside and in the sea. The remote, hard-to-access crash site and the weather hindered the search and rescue operation, and rescuers had only found the remains of 19 victims as of Wednesday.
The rest of the bodies were found Friday, along with one of the black boxes and fragments of the second one. It wasn't immediately clear whether the recovered box was the plane's voice recorder or flight data recorder.
In the aftermath of the crash, authorities in Kamchatka declared three days of mourning. Officials said that families of the victims will receive payments of more than 3.5 million rubles (about $47,200) that includes compensation from the airline, an insurance payment and a subsidy from the regional government.
Police have opened an investigation and are looking at three possible causes of the crash — weather, equipment malfunction or pilot error.
In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying the same route as Tuesday’s flight. Ten of the 14 people on board were killed. Blood tests found alcohol in the systems of both pilots, who were among the dead, Russian news agency Tass reported.