Death toll in Russian plane crash rises to 39

ANI | Updated: Mar 07, 2018 11:53 IST

Moscow [Russia], Mar 7 (ANI): The death toll of the Russian passenger plane that crashed in Syria on Tuesday, has risen to 39, Russia's Defence Ministry confirmed.

Earlier, the defence ministry said that 32 passengers were killed in the crash.

"Russia's Antonov An-26 transport plane that crashed while landing at Hmeymim airfield in Latakia in Syria was carrying six crew members and 33 passengers. Their families will be provided with the necessary assistance and support," the defence ministry was quoted by TASS as saying.

According to the updated information, there were 33 passengers and six crew members aboard the aircraft. All of them were military servicemen from the Russian Armed Forces, it added.

The plane crashlanded when it was about 500 meters short of the runway. Both the crew members and passengers were killed.

It further said that Russian defence ministry's commission was examining all possible versions of the crash.

Defence ministry officials said that the crash might have occurred due to a "technical fault", adding that neither the plane caught fire nor it came under attack. It added that a major general was among the dead.

Russia's Investigative Committee announced it had opened a criminal case into the crash, saying investigators would look into suggestions that flight-safety rules had been flouted.

Last month, a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft was shot down over the northwestern province of Idlib in Syria, believed to have been hit by a missile. (ANI)