Moscow: All 12 people on board a Russian Air Force An-22 transport aircraft that crashed late Tuesday night in central Russia`s Tula region were found dead, a source said Wednesday.
"All 12 pilots that were on board of the An-22 military transport aircraft are dead. Their bodies have been already discovered," the source said.
The An-22 Cock aircraft, en route to the airport of Migalovo, disappeared from radar screens at 21.30 Moscow time. The remains of the burning aircraft were discovered from the air near the village of Krasny Oktyabr in the Tula Region.
He added that rescuers are currently searching for flight recorders that would help establish the cause of the accident.
Earlier a source in the Russian defence ministry said that a failure of aviation equipment, particularly an engine failure, might have caused the crash.
According to various sources, there are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including An-12 Cub, An-72 Coaler, An-22 Cock, An-124 Condor and Il-76 Candid planes. Most of the aircraft entered service in the 1960s and 1970s and are considered outdated by modern safety and noise pollution standards.