(Source: TASS)

Thirty-three passengers and six crew members were on the aircraft when the An-26 transport plane went down at about 15h00 Moscow time. All of the people aboard were Russian military personnel.

Initial information suggested the crash may have been caused by a technical fault. The aircraft hit the ground about 500 metres short of the runway, the Ministry said.

"The reason for the crash according to preliminary information could have been a technical fault," the Ministry said, adding that the plane had not come under fire according to a report from the ground.

President Vladimir Putin expressed "deep condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the crash and also to all of the military over the loss of their comrades"./.

Compiled by BTA