An aircraft carrying parachutists crashed in central Russia on Sunday, the emergencies ministry said, with sixteen people feared dead.

The L-410 plane carrying 23 people crashed around 9:23 am local time (0623 GMT) during a flight over the republic of  near a city in Tatarstan region on Sunday , the ministry said on its Telegram channel, adding that seven have been rescued from the debris.

According to the Interfax news agency, the plane belonged to the Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy of Russia, which describes itself as a sports and defence organisation.

 A  representative of the emergency services told the RIA Novosti news agency,” The remaining sixteen are “without signs of life”.The local health ministry said that the seven survivors are in hospital, one is in “very serious condition”, RIA Novosti reported.

Two L-410 aircraft suffered fatal accidents in Russia earlier this year.Russian aviation safety standards have improved in recent years  but accidents especially involving ageing plane in far flung regions are not uncommon .

An ageing antonov an 26 traznsportplane crashed in the Russian fae east last month killing six people . all 28 people on board an Antonov An -26 twin engine turboprop died in crash in kamchatka in july.

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