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Russian-chartered plane disappears in Afghanistan; police report accident in the north of the country

A Russian-registered charter plane with six people on board disappeared in Afghanistan on Saturday, Russian aviation authorities said on Sunday, after Afghan police received reports of an accident.

The plane was a chartered ambulance flight traveling from Thailand's Utapao airport in Pattaya to Moscow via India and Uzbekistan.

The aircraft was a French Dassault Aviation Falcon 10 jet, manufactured in 1978, Russian aviation officials said in a statement.

About 25 minutes before the plane disappeared from radar screens, the pilot warned that the plane was running out of fuel and that the plane would attempt to land at an airport in Tajikistan, Russian news agency SHOT reported, citing an unnamed source.

The pilot then reported that two engines had stopped, SHOT reported.

Reuters was unable to immediately confirm the details shared by the Russian agency.

India's civil aviation authority said the plane was not a scheduled commercial flight or an aircraft chartered by India and was awaiting further details.

The flight was carrying out a private medical evacuation from Pattaya, Thailand – a popular tourist destination for Russians – to Moscow, Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing the Russian embassy in Bangkok.

“On board was a bedridden patient in serious condition, a Russian citizen, who was transported from one of the hospitals in Pattaya to Russia,” the RIA news agency reported, citing a source at Utapao International Airport in Thailand.

“She was accompanied by her husband, a businessman, also a Russian citizen, who paid for the ticket.”

Several Russian media outlets said the passengers were a couple from Volgodonsk in southern Russia.

A manifest list for the plane, published by the SHOT news agency, appeared to show that the crew were also Russian nationals.

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal case to determine whether security rules were violated.

The plane's alleged owner, a small Russian company called Athletic Group LLC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Taliban-run Afghan Aviation Ministry said in a statement on the social network X that the planned route did not include passing through Afghan airspace and that “probably due to technical problems” the plane had deviated from its route.

The statement said a technical team from the ministry was investigating the matter.

Afghan police have received reports of a plane crash in a remote and mountainous region of Badakhshan in Afghanistan's far north, a provincial police spokesman said on Sunday.

Zabihullah Amiri, spokesman for the Badakhshan provincial government, told Reuters that a team had been sent to the crash site, a remote area more than 200 kilometers from the provincial capital, Fayzabad, and that it would take 12 hours for the team to arrive.

Source: CNN Brasil

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