A plane missing in eastern Russia with six people on board has apparently crashed.
Not far from the city of Khabarovsk, the crew of a helicopter discovered debris on the ground, the regional civil defence announced on Thursday.
However, due to strong winds and tall trees, rescue workers were unable to land in the mountainous landscape, so a search party had set out on foot to the presumed site of the accident.
It was not known at first whether there were any survivors.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from radar on Wednesday evening about 40 kilometres from Khabarovsk airport.
According to the authorities, the aircraft, which is often used for military purposes, was supposed to check navigation and radio surveillance systems in the region.
Bad weather and darkness had made the search difficult.
In July, a passenger plane of the same type crashed on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Far East and none of the 28 passengers survived the accident. (dpa/NAN)