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All 18 On Board Small Russian Plane Survive 'Miracle' Emergency Landing In Siberia


Anatoly Prytkov, one of the pilots of the An-28, is helped by his colleagues to exit a helicopter that was also carrying the other surviving passengers at an airport outside Tomsk.

TOMSK, Russia -- All 18 people on board a small Russian passenger plane have been found alive -- and apparently with few, if any, injuries -- after surviving an emergency landing in Siberia in what the regional governor has called a miracle.

Authorities in the Siberian region of Tomsk and officials of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) and the regional directorate of the Emergency Ministry said the plane was found less than two hours after it went missing on July 16.

The plane's owner, the Sila airline, said all passengers and crew members survived an emergency landing near Tomsk.

"We all believed in a miracle, and thanks to the professionalism of the pilots it happened. Everyone is alive," regional Governor Sergei Zvachkin said in a statement.

The damaged body of the plane could be seen lying overturned in a wooded field in footage published by the TASS news agency.

The pilot of the plane was quoted by TASS as saying the aircraft suffered double engine failure shortly after takeoff.

Authorities in the Tomsk region said earlier in the day that three helicopters and several rescue groups were looking for the aircraft.

The regional directorate of the Emergency Ministry said that the plane went missing in the early afternoon and sent a "distress" signal before it disappeared from radar screens.

The An-28 aircraft was flying from the town of Kedrovy to the regional capital, Tomsk.

A total of 14 passengers, including two children, along with four crew members, were transported to a hospital in Tomsk for medical examination, emergency officials said.

The incident comes less than two weeks after another Russian plane crashed in the Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, killing 28 people on board. Officials blamed that crash on pilot error.

In 2012, an An-28 plane belonging to Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise crashed into a mountain while flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and coming in for a landing in Palana.

A total of 14 people were on board, 10 of whom were killed. Both pilots, who were among the dead, were found to have alcohol in their blood, media reports said at the time.

With reporting by TASS, Kommersant, Interfax, and RIA Novosti