An Antonov An-26 plane with 22 passengers and six crew members, flying from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the town of Palana, went missing early Tuesday in the Russian Far East region of Kamchatka, local officials reported.
The plane, belonging to a company called Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, was reportedly an Antonov An-26, which had been in operation since 1982, Russia’s state news agency Tass reported.
The company’s director, Alexei Khabarov, told the Interfax news agency the plane was technically sound.
Media reports say an investigation has been launched along with a search mission. However, those same reports suggest the plane may have crashed into the sea, but there has been no official confirmation of that yet.
In the meantime, two helicopters and an airplane were deployed to check the missing plane’s route, local officials said.
In addition to those aircraft, the state RIA Novosti news agency reported several ships have also been recruited to search for the plane. The town of Palana is located on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea.
The plane was reportedly on approach for landing when contact was lost about 10 kilometers (six miles) away from Palana’s airport. The head of the local government in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was aboard the flight, Kamchatka government spokespeople said.
In 2012, an Antonov An-28 plane belonging to the same company crashed into a mountain while flying from Petropavlovsk to Kamchatsk and preparing to land in Palana.
That flight contained 14 people, 10 of which died. Both pilots, who were among the dead, were found to have alcohol in their blood, Tass reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.