Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Video: Shocking footage as '50 people killed' after plane crashes in western Russia

Some 50 people have been killed after a Boeing 737 plane crashed in western Russia
Some 50 people have been killed after a Boeing 737 plane crashed in western Russia

Some 50 people have been killed after a Boeing 737 plane crashed in western Russia.

It's understood the aircraft had been attempting to land at Kazan airport.

It was reported the plane took off from Moscow and crashed at around 7.30pm, local time.

A total of 44 passengers and six crew members are believed to have been on board the aircraft when it crashed.

Russian officials told local media there were no survivors.

Reports said the plane appeared to lose altitude as it was making a second landing attempt, crashing and catching fire. State television showed a nighttime photograph of firefighters at the side of the aircraft after the flames had been extinguished.

First footage from (RT) Russia Today

Kazan, a city of about 1.1 million and the capital of the Tatarstan republic, is about 450 miles east of Moscow. Weather in Kazan was reported to be light precipitation and winds of about eight metres per second (18mph).

A spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry, Irina Rossius, said there were 44 passengers and six crew members aboard and all had been killed.

A journalist who said she had flown on the same aircraft from Kazan to Moscow's Domodedovo airport earlier in the day told Channel One state television that the landing in Moscow had been frightening because of a strong vibration during the final minutes of the flight.

"When we were landing it was not clear whether there was a strong wind, although in Moscow the weather was fine, or some kind of technical trouble or problem with the flight," said Lenara Kashafutdinova. "We were blown in different directions, the plane was tossed around. The man sitting next to me was white as a sheet."

Russia has seen a string of deadly crashes in recent years. Some have been blamed on the use of ageing aircraft, but industry experts point to a number of other problems, including poor crew training, crumbling airports, lax government controls and widespread neglect of safety in the pursuit of profits.

The last fatal airliner crash was in December, when a Russian-made Tupolev belonging to Red Wings airline careered off the runway at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, rolled across a snowy field and slammed into the slope of a nearby road, breaking into pieces and catching fire. Investigators say equipment failure caused the crash, which killed five people.

A 2011 crash in Yaroslavl that killed 44 people including a professional hockey team was blamed on pilot error. And Russian investigators found that the pilots in two crashes that killed 10 and 47 people in recent years were intoxicated.

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