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Russian plane crashes in Afghanistan mountains

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KABUL – Russian air ambulance, believed to be serving as a private jet, has crashed into the mountains of Badakhshan province in Afghanistan. The aircraft, registered in Russia and reportedly belonging to a private company in Moscow went down in a remote corner, raising concerns for the six individuals aboard.

Reports indicate that the crash claimed the lives of two Russian passengers, one male and one female, along with four crew members, including two paramedics. The individuals on board were identified as Anatoly Evsyukov, Anna Evsyukova, Dmitry Belyakov, Arkady Grachev, Igor Syvorotkin, and Pavel Popov, according to the AviaSpotter Telegram channel.

The tragedy unfolded when the plane reported a fuel problem at 19:05 local time on Saturday, prompting an unscheduled attempt to land in Tajikistan. Subsequently, one engine failed at 19:19, followed by the second ten minutes later. The aircraft disappeared from radar around 19:30 local time, approximately 35 miles from Kulob airport in Tajikistan.

The head of the company, Ekaterina Agapova, expressed uncertainty about the situation, stating, “Nothing is known yet, now I’m trying to understand the situation and understand what happened. There is no confirmed data yet.”

Footage from the crash site, broadcast on Russian state and independent media, revealed wreckage scattered across a snowfield. Smoke was reportedly still rising from the site at least 12 hours after the incident, adding to the challenges of the rescue operation in the remote, mountainous region.

This tragic event marks the ninth incident involving a Russian plane since the beginning of the year and the eighth occurring during a flight in the last nine days. Notably, this crash comes in the backdrop of sanctions imposed on Russian planes following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to emergency landings due to a shortage of spare parts and maintenance issues involving Western suppliers. However, it remains unclear whether these sanctions apply to air ambulances.

Investigations are underway to determine the exact cause of the crash as the international community mourns the lives lost in this devastating incident.

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