16 killed after plane carrying parachute jumpers crashes in Russia

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A plane carrying a group of parachute jumpers crashed on the Russian territory of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing 16 and injuring six, the emergency ministry said.

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The plane, which landed near the town of Menzelinsky, had 20 parachutists and two crew members on board. The health ministry said that the condition of six people was critical.

Let L-410 turbolet twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, the plane was owned by an aeroclub in the city of Menzlinsk, TASS news agency reported.

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Astronauts use the arena for training and the aeroclub has hosted local, European and world championships, club director Ravil Nurmukhametov was quoted by TASS.

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TASS quoted a source as saying that the state-run Cosmonaut Training Facility has suspended its ties with the aeroclub to investigate.

The RIA agency cited local officials as saying that an engine may have failed.

Pictures of some parachutists in kits or on board with the aircraft were circulated on the Rain TV channel and social media.

Russian aviation safety standards have been tightened in recent years but accidents continue to happen, especially in remote areas.

An old Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed in Russia’s Far East last month, killing six people. All 28 people aboard the Antonov An-26 twin-engine turboprop were killed in an accident in Kamchatka in July.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth, Editing by Raisa Kasolovsky and Gleb Stolyrov Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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