Passenger airplane crashes in Siberia

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

A Russian passenger plane has crashed after landing at Irkutsk Airport, in Siberia and up to 150 people are feared dead in the crash. At 7:44 a.m. local time (2244 UTC Saturday), the plane veered off the rain-slipped runway as it was landing, tore through a concrete barrier, and crashed into the nearby garage buildings, causing the plane to burst into flames. Witnesses have said that the aircraft appeared out of control shortly before touchdown, and was travelling at a terrific speed.

There were 192 passengers and 8 crew onboard the aircraft. So far, 68 passengers have emerged injured and 124 bodies have been recovered. Russian officials suggest that the final death toll is likely to be closer to 150. None of the crew has survived. Many of the passengers were holidaymakers, and there were many children onboard. A few of the survivors are said to owe their lives to a flight attendant, who managed to open the emergency escape hatch in the rear of the aircraft.

The Aircraft was an Airbus A310, travelling from Moscow airport.

A failure of brakes on a wet runway was cited as the possible cause of the crash (although unlikely).


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