The Russian MoD has confirmed the crash. 26 passengers and 6 crew member killed in the accident.
A Russian Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name “Curl”) is reported to have crashed near Hmeymim Air Base in Syria. News agencies report 32 fatalities. The BBC World News said the aircraft was carrying 26 passengers and 6 crew members when it went down.
Russian news agency TASS reported that, “Around 15:00 (Moscow time), a Russian An-26 transport aircraft has crashed while coming in for landing at the Hmeymim airbase.” TASS indicated this statement was issued by Russian Defense Ministry.
The aircraft of #Russia‘s Special Purpose Aviation Brigade that crashed today at Hmeymim is reported as an An-26 transport. RF-36162 is seen here in #Syria last September. The small fixed-wing transport contingent at the base typically comprises one An-26, one An-30, one An-72. pic.twitter.com/2cFs9uMSmf
— Thomas Newdick (@CombatAir) March 6, 2018
The Antonov An-26 is a twin-engine, high-wing turboprop utility transport aircraft that first flew in 1969. Since then, nearly 1,500 have been built by Russian aircraft company Antonov. In the nearly half-century since the aircraft has been flying it has established a somehow good record for dependability and the ability to operate from undeveloped, rough field airstrips.
While no cause was observed according to immediate reports, the TASS agency news report was updated minutes after it appeared to read, “The defense ministry is investigating the crash, but preliminary data suggests it could be a technical malfunction.”
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
Top image credit: Fedor Leukhin /Wiki