Boeing plane crashes in Russia, 50 believed killed

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by JIM HEINTZ / The Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian passenger airliner crashed Sunday night while trying to land at the airport in the city of Kazan, killing all 50 people aboard, officials said.

The Boeing 737 belonging to Tatarstan Airlines crashed about 7:20 p.m. local time (1520 GMT; 10:20 a.m. EST). There were no immediate indications of what may have caused the crash.

Reports said the plane appeared to lose altitude as it was making a second landing attempt, crashing and catching fire. Weather in the city soon after was reported to be light precipitation and winds of about 8 meters per second (18 mph).

Kazan is about 720 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, where the flight originated.

A spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry, Irina Rossius, said there were 44 passengers and six crew members aboard and all had been killed.

Russia has seen a string of deadly crashes in recent years. Some have been blamed on the use of aging aircraft, but industry experts point to a number of other problems, including poor crew training, crumbling airports, lax government controls and widespread neglect of safety in the pursuit of profits.

The last fatal airliner crash was in December, when a Russian-made Tupolev belonging to Red Wings airline careered off the runway at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, rolled across a snowy field and slammed into the slope of a nearby highway, breaking into pieces and catching fire. Investigators say equipment failure caused the crash, which killed five people.

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