Russian investigators have located, in a forest, the wreckage of an Antonov An-2 which vanished from an airport 11 months ago.
The aircraft conducted an unauthorised departure from Serov at night on 11 June last year, but a search lasting several months and covering an extensive area failed to turn up any trace of the An-2 or its 13 occupants.
Russian investigators called off the search in mid-November as winter conditions closed in. The effort had proven frustrating, with the inquiry even having to check unsolicited tips from individuals claiming to be clairvoyant.
But the Sverdlovsk division of the Russian emergencies ministry says it received a report concerning the discovery of aircraft wreckage. Two individuals found the wreck in a swamp about 8km from Serov.
Personnel from the town of Karpinsk, about 25km northwest of Serov, responded to the finding and located the remains of an An-2, says the ministry.
While the search has previously turned up wreckage from other airframes, the Sverdlovsk internal affairs directorate says police have confirmed the latest discovery to be the missing aircraft.
It says the aircraft appears to have struck trees before impacting the forest floor. The tree canopy covered the wreck and made it "impossible to find from the air", it adds, while the marshy ground makes the site difficult to access.
Analysis of the wreckage suggests there was an explosion or fuel fire after the crash. The aircraft was badly damaged but the directorate states that the remains of "more than 10 people" have been found at the site and will be transported to Ekaterinburg.
Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee, which is investigating the crash, says the aircraft (RA-40312) was owned by a company it identifies as Avia-Zov. It states that the aircraft suffered an accident after take-off from Serov but that, owing to "difficult terrain", the wreck was found only on 4 May.