Airframe icing - possible cause of An-2 crash in Irkutsk region

The missing An-2 plane, which was discovered in the Irkutsk on Tuesday, is irreparably damaged, reported the region's Chief Department of Emergencies and Civil Defence.

The plane was found on the slope of a hill 68 kilometres from the district center of Bodaibo. None of the five people on board suffered serious injuries. They were all taken to Bodaibo airport.

The Eastern Siberian inter-territorial office of the Russian Air Traffic Service said the plane had undergone major repairs in the summer and was piloted by an experienced crew.

A special commission headed by Viktor Zamotayev, a deputy head of the Eastern Siberian office of the ATS, is in Bodaibo investigating the cause of the crash. According to preliminary information, the crash might have been caused by airframe icing.

Igor Samovolnov, the head of the Irkutsk region's Chief Department of Emergencies and Civil Defence, dismissed media reports that said the plane had been loaded with gold. Actually it was loaded with food products and spare parts for prospectors' artels, he said.