Russia: Seven dead in passenger jet crash

March 17, 2007 19:07


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A Russian airliner attempting to land in heavy fog in the central Russian city of Samara came down short of the runway, scraped along the landing strip and overturned. Seven people died and at least 26 were injured, authorities and company officials said. Prosecutors investigating the incident said they were considering bad weather and pilot error among the most likely causes of the crash. The plane was a Tu-134 passenger jet belonging to the Russian airline UTAir, and the accident was sure to renew concerns about the aging plane model that is the workhorse of the Russian civil aviation industry and that transport officials had ordered gradually phased out. Experts say the jets are harder to land than modern aircraft, especially in bad weather. The plane, carrying 50 passengers and 7 crew, had been en route from the Siberian city of Surgut to the western city of Belgorod with a stop in Samara, a city on the Volga river, about 900 kilometers (550 miles) southeast of Moscow.

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