Russian jetliner crashes;killing all 50 aboard


A Russian jetliner crashed on landing in the city of Kazan, killing all 50 aboard, authorities there reported Sunday.

Tatarstan Airlines flight
363 carried

44 passengers and a crew of six, Emergency Situations
Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius said. There were no survivors.

The dead included Lt.
Gen. Alexander Antonov, the regional chief of Russia’s Federal Security
Service, and Irek Minnikhanov, the son of Tatarstan regional President
Rustam Minnikhanov, Russia’s state news service RIA Novosti reported.

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The Boeing 737 took off
from Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, about 700 kilometers
(450 miles) west of Kazan, Rossius said.
There was no immediate
indication of the cause of the crash, which occurred about 7:25 p.m.,
the ministry said. Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee has launched
an investigation, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and
Boeing are assisting.

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Boeing said it “extends its deepest condolences to the families of those who perished.”
The jet was 23 years old
and had been in service with at least eight airlines, including Air
France, Uganda Airlines and Bulgaria Air, according to aviation industry
In a November 2012
flight, it was forced to cut short a flight to Moscow and return to
Kazan after losing cabin pressure, according to the website AeroInside.
Russia has tried to improve its checkered reputation for air safety in recent years.

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In 2011, then-President
Dmitry Medvedev grounded two classes of Soviet-era aircraft after a pair
of crashes that killed more than 90 people, including a charter plane
crash that killed an entire professional hockey team.
Medvedev said Russia
would have to upgrade its aircraft fleet, step up safety standards and
radically cut the number of airlines.

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