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Pix: 31 dead as Russia plane crashes, breaks into pieces

Last updated on: April 2, 2012 15:36 IST

Pix: 31 dead as Russia plane crashes, breaks into pieces

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Thirty-one people were killed on Monday when a Russian passenger plane crashed while trying to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off near the western Siberian city of Tyumen, officials said.

At least 31 out of the 43 people onboard were killed in the accident, the Russian emergencies ministry was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency. There were no children on board, it said.

The twin-engine ATR-72 plane heading to Surgut crashed 30 kilometers from the city of Tyumen shortly after takeoff. The aircraft burst into flames and broke into pieces upon impact.

There were 39 passengers and four crew on board. All the crew members were among the dead, but 12 survivors were taken to hospital, all in a serious condition, it said. One person later died in hospital of his injuries.

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Image: Emergency service workers stand near the tail section of the UTair airlines ATR 72 passenger plane that crashed near the Siberian city of Tyumen
Photographs: Reuters

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Pix: 31 dead as Russia plane crashes, breaks into pieces

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Russian airline operator UTair said the plane went down as the pilots tried to carry out an emergency landing. While preliminary investigations cite possible causes of the crash as technical difficulties and pilot error, media reports said.

All the bodies were recovered and the plane wreckage is being examined. The "black box" flight recorder had been found and a team of investigators has flown to the scene. A criminal probe has been launched into the incident.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has put off a planned meeting with leaders of Russia's unregistered political parties because of the crash, the Russian media reported.

Deputy Transport Minister Valery Okulov has been appointed head of a government inquiry into the crash.


Image: 12 people survived the accident
Photographs: Reuters

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Pix: 31 dead as Russia plane crashes, breaks into pieces

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The plane should have been carrying 40 passengers as one person arrived late for the flight, Tyumen deputy prosecutor Valentin Tarasov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The emergencies ministry has opened a hotline for the relatives of those onboard (8-800-775-17-17), in order to provide information and psychological assistance.

The crash is Russia's deadliest air accident since a chartered jet crashed in September last year, killing most of the players from the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team.

The ATR-72 is a passenger twin-engine turboprop medium-haul airliner. It is designed for the transportation of up to 74 passengers at medium distances and is steered by two pilots.


Photographs: Reuters

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