image copyrightRussian Emergencies Ministry/Reutersimage captionAn An-26 plane seen at Petropavlovsk airport

A passenger plane carrying 28 people has gone missing in the Russian Far East. local officials say.

The An-26 aircraft lost contact with air traffic control shortly before it was due to land in the settlement of Palana, in the north of the remote Kamchatka peninsula.

The plane was flying from the regional centre Petropavlovsk.

Reports say the plane crashed into the sea and a signal from its black box has been detected.

Officials said 22 passengers, including one child, were on board, as well as six crew members.

Unconfirmed reports say the head of the local administration in Palana, Olga Mokhireva, was on board.

Emergency officials say the plane could have gone down in the sea, and Russian media reports said it had been located after a weak radio signal from the black box was detected off the coast.

Earlier there were suggestions it could have crashed near an open-cast coal mine close to Palana.

Correspondents say Russia once had a poor flight safety record but this has improved in recent years.

Still, there have been several major accidents in recent years. In May 2019 an Aeroflot Sukhoi superjet crashed and caught fire on a Moscow runway killing 41 people.

Just over a year earlier, a Saratov airlines jet went down minutes after take-off from Moscow. All 71 people on board died.