At least 16 people were killed and six others injured after a light plane with 22 on board crashed near the town of Menzelinsk in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan on Sunday, according to the local health ministry.
The Czech-built L-410 light aircraft, which belonged to a local aero club, hit the ground immediately after takeoff, witnesses said. Its hull was destroyed by the impact, while the tail section mostly remained intact.
“As a result of a crash, 16 people were killed, while six wounded were hospitalized in medical institutions in the republic by ER vehicles and air medical aircraft,” Aleksey Kuznetsov, an aide to Minister of Health, stated.
The injured were in critical condition, he added.
The Emergencies Ministry had earlier put the death toll at 15, reporting that seven others had been rescued from the wreckage.
There were 22 people on board the aircraft, 20 of whom were skydivers.
Some previous reports had claimed there were 23 people on the ill-fated plane, but local media reported that a relative of one of the victims had been mistaken for a passenger after arriving at the scene and falling ill before requiring hospitalization.
The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, which has been produced in the Czech Republic since the early 1970s.
In September, a similar aircraft crashed in Irkutsk Region in southeastern Siberia. Four people were killed and 12 others were injured in the incident.