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Russian plane crash kills at least 140
Latest Updated by 2006-07-10 08:24:51
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The tail of an Airbus A-310 which crashed is seen at the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on July 9, 2006. A Russian A-310 airliner crashed at a Siberian airport early Sunday, killing at least 122 people and injuring more than 50 others, Russian news agencies reported. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The tail of an Airbus A-310 which crashed is seen at the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on July 9, 2006. A Russian A-310 airliner crashed at a Siberian airport early Sunday, killing at least 122 people and injuring more than 50 others, Russian news agencies reported. 

TV nab dated on July 9, 2006 shows rescuers are working at the at the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on July 9, 2006.  A Russian A-310 airliner crashed at a Siberian airport early Sunday, killing at least 122 people and injuring more than 50 others, Russian news agencies reported. (Xinhua Photo)

A TV grab dated on July 9, 2006 shows rescuers are working at the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on July 9, 2006. (Xinhua Photo)

An injured survivor (R) of the Airbus A-310 left, with her relative, the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk July 9, 2006.  A Russian A-310 airliner crashed at a Siberian airport early Sunday, killing at least 122 people and injuring more than 50 others, Russian news agencies reported. (Xinhua Photo)

An injured survivor (R) of the Airbus A-310 left, with her relative, the airport of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk July 9, 2006. (Xinhua Photo)

A Russian A-310 airliner crashed at a Siberian airport early Sunday (July 9), killing at least 122 people and injuring more than 50 others, Russian news agencies reported.

The A-310 jet of the Russian airline Sibir from Moscow's Domodedovo airport slid off the runway and hit a building during landing at the Irkutsk airport at 3:00 a.m. (2300 GMT Saturday).

After its collision with the building, the jet burst into flames. It took firefighters more than two hours to put down the fire.

According to latest data from the Emergency Ministry, 204 people were aboard the crashed plane, including 193 passengers, eight crew members and three people whose names had not been included in the passenger list.

The ministry confirmed that 122 people died, 58 were hospitalized, 12 still unaccounted for, and 12 have returned home.

The Sibir Airlines said 12 foreign citizens were among the passengers, including three from Germany, three from China, two from Poland, two from Azerbaijan and two from Belarus.

Seven of the foreign passengers survived and were sent to a local hospital, including two Germans, two Poles, two Belarussians and one Azerbaijani, the Itar-Tass news agency said.

Russian television showed footage of the jet wreckage in between several lockup garages. Only the airplane's tail section with the white-on -blue logo of Sibir airlines was still intact.

The black boxes of the airliner have been retrieved and handed over to the Irkutsk Regional Prosecutor's Office, the regional administration's press service announced.

The wreckage is being cleared from the crash site. The survivors, who escaped from the plane on their own and went home, are returning to the airport to give accounts of what happened.

Technical malfunctions and a human error were among likely causes of the crash, the Prosecutor General's Office said.

"But it would be premature to prioritize any of the theories viewed. A more definite answer could be given after the flight recorders have been read," spokesperson for the Prosecutor General's Office Marina Gridneva was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

According to a spokesman for Sibir Airlines, "neither the air controllers, nor mission control reported any emergencies when the plane was landing."

Before flying from Moscow to Irkutsk, Transport Minister Igor Levitin said the plane's pilots contacted air traffic controllers during the landing and said they had landed successfully, but radio contact suddenly broke off.

It was the fourth air crash in Irkutsk in the past 12 years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared July 10 a Day of Mourning for the victims of the Irkutsk air crash, the Kremlin press service said.

President Hu delivers consolation to Putin over Russian air crash

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday sent a consolatory message to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the tragic crash of an A-310 passenger plane at a Siberian airport early of the day.

In the message, Hu, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, expressed heartfelt consolation to the Russian government and the Russian people.

Hu also mourned dearly the victims in the crash and sent consolation to their relatives.

According to the Russian Interior Ministry, an A-310 jet of the Russian airline Sibir carrying 192 passengers, six flight attendants and two pilots veered off the runway and hit a building during landing at the Irkutsk airport at 03:00 a.m. (2300 GMT Saturday).

After collision with the building, the jet burst into flames.

The jet arrived in Irkutsk from Moscow's Domodedovo airport. Many of the passengers aboard were children going for vacation on Russia's famous Lake Baikal near Irkutsk.

The Irkutsk airport authorities said several foreign citizens were among the passengers aboard the plane.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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