A Russian passenger plane with up to 12 people on board split into three pieces after sliding off a runway and crashing into a highway outside a Moscow airport on Saturday, officials said.

State-run RIA news agency said two people were killed.

A photograph posted on the Internet showed a wrecked plane on a highway outside Vnukovo airport, with smoke billowing from the back end and only a mangled part of the front half visible.

The Tupolev-204 passenger plane was operated by the Russian airliner Red Wings and traveling from Czech Republic, Krylova said.

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