Moscow, 17 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Seventeen people, including the military commander for the Leningrad region, are presumed dead today after a military plane they were on crashed shortly after take-off.
Interfax quotes a Russian Air Force spokesman as saying that Colonel-General Sergei Seleznev, military commander for the Leningrad region, was on board the plane. Seven crew members and nine other passengers, including Seleznev's wife, are presumed dead. There is no word on any survivors.
The report said the Antonov-12 aircraft came down eight kilometers south of Andriapol airfield shortly after takeoff in the western region of Pskov. Earlier reports said the crash had occurred during take-off.
The Air Force spokesman says Defense Minister Igor Rodionov has ordered that a commission of inquiry be formed to investigate the crash.