44 killed, 8 injured in plane emergency landing in N Russia

11:10, June 21, 2011      

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A total of 44 people were killed when a Tu-134 passenger plane crash-landed in Russia's northern republic of Karelie, local media reported June 21, 2011, citing sources from the Emergency Situations Ministry. This is a file photo of Tu-134 passenger plane taken on March 8, 2007. (Xinhua)

A total of 44 people were killed when a Tu-134 passenger plane crash-landed in Russia's northern republic of Karelie, local media reported Tuesday, citing sources from the Emergency Situations Ministry.

Meanwhile, eight people who were severely injured in the accident were sent to local hospitals, RIA Novosti and Itar-Tass news agencies reported.

Earlier reports said 40 were killed.

The plane, en route from Moscow's Domodedovo airport to Russia's northwest city of Petrozavodsk, the administrative center of Karelie which is some 900 kms away from Moscow, came to an unscheduled ending on a highway several kilometers away from the Petrozavodsk airport.

Local emergency ministry said the accident occurred at about 11:55 p.m. Moscow time (1955 GMT) Monday.

The fuselage of the jet, belonging to the Rusaero airline, was fully destroyed and caught fire during the landing, said the news agency.

The exact death toll and the number of people aboard are yet to be confirmed. Earlier, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told RIA Novosti that there were 43 passengers, including eight children, and five crew members on board and "many of them died."

Itar-Tass reported that eight people, including one 10-year-old boy, were injured in the crash and have been taken to the hospital. Some of them are in a critical condition.

Earlier reports said about 10 people survived the accident.

The plane blaze has already been extinguished by the time of reporting.

The investigators are currently considering all the possible causes of the crash, including human factor, an error of the cockpit crew, infractions in the performance of ground services, and an equipment failure, an official at Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Source: Xinhua

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