Engine failure forced Russian plane to make hard landing, investigators say

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian investigators said on Saturday engine failure had caused a small passenger plane to make a forced landing in Siberia a day earlier, flipping the aircraft upside down but causing no serious injuries among the 18 people on board.

Fears had swirled over the fate of the Russian Antonov An-28 plane after it went missing on a flight from the town of Kedrovy to the city of Tomsk. Rescuers were dispatched found the survivors in a wooded area near the damaged aircraft.

"About 10 minutes into the flight, both engines stopped working," Russia's Investigative Committee said on Saturday, adding that the plane had flipped upside down when it made the hard landing at a site some 70 km (43 miles) from Kedrovy.

All of the passengers were safely evacuated, the committee said. One of the pilots suffered a fractured leg and a teenage passenger was treated for concussion, but the rest of the passengers had only cuts and bruises.

Investigators have taken fuel samples and flight documents from the plane and seized its emergency locator beacon as part of their ongoing probe.

Friday's incident came less than two weeks after a similar aircraft, an Antonov An-26, crashed into a cliff in poor visibility on the remote Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's far east, killing all 28 people on board.

Russian aviation safety standards have improved in recent years but accidents, especially involving ageing planes in far-flung regions, are not uncommon.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Helen Popper)

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