Russian military plane carrying 39 crashes in Siberia

Local law enforcement officials said the impact broke the fuselage into three pieces, although no fire broke out

Russian military plane carrying 39 crashes in Siberia

A Russian military plane crashed on Monday in Northeast Siberia with 39 people on board as it tried to make an emergency landing near a Soviet-era military base.


According to the reports, after the crash 32 people had been airlifted to hospital, 16 of whom were in serious condition.


The Il-18 aircraft came down around 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) from an airfield near the town of Tiksi in the Sakha Republic at 4:45 a.m. local time, news agency reported.


Reports said the injured would be taken for treatment to Moscow — about 2,600 miles to the west — and to St. Petersburg. Three soldiers were reportedly in grave condition.


Local law enforcement officials said the impact broke the fuselage into three pieces, although no fire broke out.


Initial reports had indicated that only a half-dozen people had survived.


The Il-18, a Soviet-era propeller plane whose design dates from the 1950s, had taken off from an air base in Kansk in western Siberia with 39 people on board, including 7 crew.


Reports said three rescue helicopters had been sent to the crash site, about 18 miles from Tiksi, and an investigation was underway.


The accident occurred in Siberia’s Yakutia region. The crash site is so remote it is closer to Anchorage, Alaska, than to Moscow.