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Plane Fighting Forest Fire In Irkutsk Remains Missing

A Russian plane with 10 people onboard remains missing in Russia’s Irkutsk region. Authorities believe it has crashed and have pinpointed the area they believe it went down.

Russian Emergencies Ministry officials said on July 2 that the Ilyushin Il-76 went down in a forested taiga area over 150 kilometers from any inhabited locality.

Russian reports said the plane's pilots last communicated with air traffic controllers early on July 1.

The plane was helping to fight a forest fire in the region and was on its second flight of the day, according to reports.

It had not reported any malfunctions through its last communication with air-traffic controllers, which was shortly after it discharged the water it was carrying on the forest fire.

An official at Russia’s Emergency Services Ministry told Interfax that the pilot of the plane may have lost orientation while flying through the thick smoke coming from the blaze.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS