Small plane crashes near St. Petersburg

Three people were killed on late Monday evening when a small plane crashed near the Russian city of St. Petersburg, officials said on Tuesday.

The accident happened at around 11.10 p.m. local time when the four-seat aircraft crashed into a river near the town of Kuksino, which is located in Leningrad Oblast, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from St. Petersburg. A total of three people were on board.

It was not immediately known what type of aircraft was involved or what caused the accident, but officials said the plane may have hit a power transmission line before crashing into the river. The bodies of the three victims, all male, were recovered from the river on Tuesday morning.

A team has been dispatched to the scene to investigate the exact causes of the accident, according to the country’s Emergencies Ministry.

Russia has been hit by a series of serious aviation accidents over the last few years, in part because of its use of old aircraft. On Tuesday, eleven people were killed when an Antonov-12 transport plane crashed in Russia’ Far East.

And on Monday, 15 people were injured when an IrAero passenger plane crashed during a domestic flight on approach to Ignatyevo airport near Blagoveshchensk, a city in Amur Oblast. It was carrying a total of 36 people.

Before that, on June 20, a total of 47 people were killed when a RusLine Tupolev Tu-134 plane crashed during landing near Petrozavodsk, the capital city of the Republic of Karelia, which is one of Russia’s federal subjects. Only five people survived the accident.

Most notably, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was among 96 people killed on April 10, 2010, when his Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft crashed near the city of Smolensk in Russia. He was visiting Smolensk for the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Polish prisoners of war in the village of Katyn.