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2 black boxes of crashed Russian plane recovered
Latest Updated by 2006-08-24 09:39:34
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Russian Tu-154 jet plane that crashed in east UkraineTwo black boxes and 130 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of a Russian Tupolev Tu-154 jet plane that crashed in east Ukraine and killed all 170 people on board on Tuesday, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday.

The plane, operated by Pulkovo Airlines, was on a flight from the Russian Black Sea resort of Anapa to St. Petersburg when it crashed 45 km north of Donetsk on Tuesday.

All 160 passengers and 10 crew members aboard, including dozens of children, were killed. Five foreigners -- one Dutch, two Germans, one French and one Finn -- were also on the plane, Pulkovo Airlines said.

Both the flight data recorder and the cabin voice recorder of the Tupolev Tu-154 jet were discovered at the crash site near Donetsk, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, who was heading a Russian investigation team, said in Ukraine.

The two recorders, often called "black boxes," appeared to be in satisfactory condition and would be sent to Moscow for analysis, Levitin said.

President Vladimir Putin has declared Thursday a day of mourning in Russia.

The cause of the crash was still unclear, but officials in both Russia and Ukraine indicated that bad weather, other than terrorism, was likely to have contributed to the tragedy.

Initial information showed the airplane crashed after it came across severe turbulence, said Alexander Neradko, head of the Russian Federal Air Navigation Service.

"The catastrophe occurred as the result of a lightning strike as the plane flew into a storm front," spokeswoman for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Irina Andrianova was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Meanwhile, Interfax Ukraine reported that a fire had broken out on board the plane, shortly before it went down.

A fire flared up inside the aircraft as it was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters, Igor Krol, spokesman for the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, was quoted by Interfax Ukraine as saying.

The crew tried to make an emergency landing but failed due to the malfunction of the plane's landing gear, and the jet crashed "on its belly," Krol said.

The crash was the second major incident involving Russia's aviation industry in the past two months.

An Airbus A310 plane of Russia's Sibir airlines veered off the runway and hit buildings upon landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk on July 9, killing more than 120 people.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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