Soldier Dies As Russian Military Plane Crash-Lands In Saratov

Photo: © Georgiy Zimarev / Sputnik

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A soldier died after a Russian plane crash-landed during a training flight.

One soldier was killed and five injured during an An-26 military transport aircraft training flight in Russia’s Saratov Region, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

“The plane caught fire during a hard landing. One serviceman was killed, five crew members were quickly delivered to the medical institution by a search and rescue helicopter,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said preliminary information from the scene indicates the cause of the accident could have been engine failure. A special Defense Ministry commission was dispatched to uncover the causes of the crash-landing on approach to the Balashov airfield.

The Antonov An-26, which NATO calls ‘Curl’, is a twin-engine, turboprop cargo plane designed and built in the USSR. It is still used by the Russian military to transport combat vehicles and personnel. The An-26 is capable of carrying up to 24 tons of cargo and up to 38 troops at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour.