29 killed in Siberia plane crash—ministry

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MOSCOW – Twenty-nine people were killed when a passenger plane crashed in Siberia shortly after takeoff on Monday, while the other 14 people aboard were injured, Russia’s emergencies ministry said.

“The bodies of 29 people have been recovered. Fourteen injured people were evacuated from the crash site by helicopter,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ATR-72 twin propeller plane operated by Russia’s UTair had taken off from Roschino airport, near Tyumen and was heading towards Surgut, also in Siberia, a ministry spokeswoman said.

According to Russian news agencies, the plane disappeared from radar screens shortly after take-off and crashed, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the airport at around 7:50 am (0150 GMT).

Rescue teams found the plane’s cabin ablaze along with other debris.

There was no immediate word on the possible cause of the crash.

Russia’s aviation industry remains blighted by repeated accidents involving its ageing fleet of planes, with the Soviet-era Tupolev jets having a particularly poor safety record.

In April 2010, a plane carrying Polish president Lech Kaczynski and other top officials came down in fog near the Russian city of Smolensk, killing all 96 people on board.

Analysts say such crashes are all too predictable as some industries never recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union and many planes and ships are nearing the end of their lifespan.

Originally posted at 12:30 pm | Monday, April 2, 2012

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