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Mysterious disappearance of police in a plane leaves investigators puzzled

by at 13/06/2012 19:13


The mysterious disappearance of a several policemen and their friends onboard a plane has left their colleagues in the Sverdlovsk region guessing.

A two-day long search for the private plane, which took off without permission on Monday night from the town of Serov, hasn’t seen any results so far, while investigators have already proposed several versions.

“According to one of the versions police have been working on, the group could have left for a fishing trip, according to another version, they departed to a sauna in the neighboring region,” spokesman for the local branch of the Internal Affairs Ministry, Valery Gorelykh, said. It’s not excluded, that at least some members of the group were drunk, Interfax reported.


Empty cars and empty bottles

The town’s traffic police chief, Dmitry Ushakov, was also onboard the privately owned plane, which was hired to monitor wildfires in the region, according to investigators’ preliminary data.

Further people onboard included three other traffic policemen, the guard of the runway and the captain of the plane. Some family members could have also been on board.

Their cars were found near the runway with their mobile phones plus empty alcoholic beverage bottles. 

The region of the search has been extended on Wednesday, Interfax reported, but the general outlook doesn’t seem to be very optimistic. The plane’s fuel would be enough for just a few hours of flight, not longer.


Search expanded

Investigators say the plane could have crashed due to technical problems, safety rules violation or weather conditions. The plane could have also been hijacked.

A criminal case has been initiated over safety rules violations leading to the death of two or more people by negligence.

The area of 2,000 square kilometers has been searched, and on Wednesday the search operation is to continue on other 8,000 sq. km, Interfax reported.

Seventy policemen and seven Emergency Salutations Ministry’s staff have been engaged in the operation, as well as two planes and a helicopter. 


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