A search party looking for an An-2 biplane that took off without permission from the Urals city of Serov earlier this month has instead found wreckage of a different An-2.
Those remains have been uncovered, along with fragments of a Mi-8 helicopter, during the 2 1/2 week rescue effort, Urals district Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Vadim Grebennikov told Interfax on Thursday.
The still-missing An-2 went on an unauthorized flight on June 11 with 13 passengers on board, including the local traffic police chief, and mysteriously disappeared.
Local sources said the people believed to have been on board had been drinking before takeoff. Police said the revelers were possibly heading out on a fishing trip or to a banya in a neighboring district.
Search planes have surveyed 219,200 square kilometers looking for the missing An-2, and ground crews have covered 951 square kilometers, a Sverdlovsk region Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson told Interfax.
There are 1,455 people involved in the search effort and about 300 vehicles, including 11 aircraft, the spokesperson said.