. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Plane Crashes Near Pskov, Kills 17

Seventeen people, including the commander of the Leningrad military district, were killed when a military plane crashed while taking off from an airport in northwestern Russia on Tuesday, an air force spokesman said. The spokesman said seven crew members and 10 passengers, including Colonel General Sergei Seleznyov and his wife, were aboard the Antonov-12 plane when it crashed at an airfield near the city of Pskov at around 2 p.m.

"Most of the people on board were military personnel," the spokesman said. He said the plane was a cargo aircraft with a capacity of 14 tons.

The accident was the latest in a long series involving former Soviet aircraft. The surge in accidents is generally attributed to cash shortages which lower already poor maintenance standards and place extra pressure on air crews.

Last month, 23 people died when their military cargo plane, an Ilyushin Il-76, crashed in Siberia.

In another recent accident, six people died when an An-12, the same aircraft as in Tuesday's crash, slid off a runway in Angola.