Russian media reports, citing Russian aviation authorities and the Russian Embassy in Kabul, said yesterday four people survived the crash of a charter plane bound for Moscow in northern Afghanistan, noting that the condition of two other passengers on board was not yet clear.

Russia’s RIA Novosti reported on January 21 that the plane was carrying a Russian woman “in a serious condition” from a hospital in Pattaya, Thailand to Russia.

“She was accompanied by her husband, a private entrepreneur, also a Russian citizen, who paid for the flight,” the agency added.

Several Russian media outlets said the passengers were a couple from Volgodonsk in southern Russia.

Meanwhile, Afghan media outlets, citing two Taliban provincial officials said four survivors were now with Taliban administration officials who had reached the remote, mountainous site of the crash. They said that two other passengers had died.

TOLOnews reports that the Ministry of Transport and Aviation of the Islamic Emirate issued a statement online on Sunday saying the plane and four survivors had been found in the Kuf Ab district of Badakhshan, near Aruz Kouh mountain.

The head of the Department of Information and Culture of Badakhshan, Zabihullah Amiri, reportedly told TOLOnews that the plane crashed in the mountains of Topkhana within the area of districts of Kuran-Munjan and Zibak of Badakhshan.

Khaama Press News Agency reports that Haji Khan Mohammad, the head of the Badakhshan provincial office, said on Sunday that the wreckage of a crashed airplane in the Kuf Ab district of this province has been discovered by security personnel.

Mr. Khan Mohammad reportedly mentioned that out of the six people on board the plane, two died, and four others survived the incident.

Furthermore, the source added that this airplane crashed in Badakhshan province Saturday evening.

According to Khaama Press News Agency, the Afghan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation stated in a press release that the airplane that crashed in Badakhshan was a Russian private jet en route from India to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

According to a report by Uzbekistan’s UzDaily, the crew reported running out of emergency fuel and decided to make an emergency landing at Kulob Airport in Tajikistan at 19:05 local time Saturday night.

Russian aviation authorities said two passengers and four crew members were onboard the charter ambulance flight, which was travelling from Utapao airport, near Pattaya, to Moscow via India and Uzbekistan.

The Guardian reports that Shot said the pilot of the jet – a Russian-registered, French-made Dassault Aviation Falcon 10 manufactured in 1978 – warned that fuel was running low and said the plane would try to land at an airport in Tajikistan.

The pilot of the twin-engine jet reported that one engine had stopped, followed by the second one. Twenty-five minutes after the initial call, the plane vanished from radar screens.

Russia’s investigative committee reportedly said it had instituted criminal proceedings to determine whether safety rules had been violated.

According to The Guardian, international carriers have largely avoided Afghanistan since the Taliban’s 2021 takeover of the country.  Those that briefly fly over rush through Afghan airspace for only a few minutes while over Badakhshan province’s Wakhan corridor, a narrow panhandle that juts out of the east of the country between Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Typically, aircraft heading toward the corridor make a sharp turn north near Peshawar and follow the Pakistani border before briefly entering Afghanistan.