Russian Antonov An-28 passenger plane carrying up to 17 people disappeared from radars on Friday while flying over the Siberian region of Tomsk, local officials said, the second such incident this month.

The region’s governor said two helicopters had been dispatched to search for the plane, which was flying from the town of Kedrovy in the region to the city of Tomsk.

The aircraft – operated by SiLA, a small airline operating regional flights in Siberia on turboprop aircraft – was thought to have been carrying 17 people, including three crew members, governor Sergei Zhvachkin said.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a similar aircraft, an Antonov An-26, crashed into a cliff in poor visibility conditions on the remote Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s far east, killing all 28 people on board.

An Antonov-28, the same type of plane that has gone missing over Tomsk, crashed in a Kamchatka forest in 2012, killing 10 people. Investigators said both pilots were drunk at the time of the crash.

Russian aviation safety standards have improved in recent years but accidents, especially involving ageing planes in far-flung regions, are not uncommon.
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