Airliner crashes in Kazan, Russia, killing 50
A Boeing 737 airliner crashed on landing in the Russian city of Kazan on Sunday, killing all 50 people on board, the Emergencies Ministry said.The flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was making a second attempt to land and exploded when it hit the runway, killing all 44 passengers and six crew on board.
Flight U363 was operated by the regional Tatarstan airline, a ministry spokeswoman said.
Firefighters extinguished a fire at the scene. According to eyewitness reports, the Boeing lost altitude quickly and its fuel tank exploded on impact.
According to local reports, there were high winds and cloudy skies over the airport in central Russia. Temperatures were above zero.
Kazan, which is 800 km (500 miles) east of Russia, is capital of the largely-Muslim, oil-rich region of Tatarstan.
Russia’s regional airlines have a poor safety record. In April 2012, at least 31 people were killed when a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off in Siberia.
In September 2011, a Yak-42 passenger jet carrying members of a major league ice hockey team came down shortly after takeoff and burst into flames near the Russian city of Yaroslavl, killing 44 people.
Russia and the former Soviet republics combined had one of the world’s worst air-traffic safety records in 2010, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average, according to the International Air Transport Association.
IATA said last year that global airline safety had improved in 2011 but that accident rates had risen in Russia and the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.