06/21/2011, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Plane crashes on highway in Russia. 44 victims. Eight survivors

A RusAir Tu 134 crashed to the ground and burst into flames after the pilot attempted an emergency landing on a highway in Karelia, near the border with Finland. Cause of the disaster unknown.
Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The toll from an over night air plane crash in Russia is of 44 dead and eight survivors. A RusAir Tupolev 134 crashed to the ground and burst into flames after trying to make an emergency landing manoeuvre on a highway a mile away from Petrozavodsk, its destination, in the Russian republic of Karelia, near the border with Finland.

The plane had left the airport in Moscow at 22.30 (local time). Among survivors, a ten year old boy Anton Terekhin, his 17 year old sister and a flight attendant are among the survivors. All are in critical condition after suffering severe chemical burns. Among the dead was a Swedish citizen. The plane had departed from Moscow directed to Petrozavodsk. It is not clear what caused the accident that took place in bad weather, with rain and thick fog.

Il pilota ha perso il contatto con la torre di controllo alle 23.40 (ora locale) e ha sfiorato le case prima di tranciare una linea elettrica e schiantarsi sull'autostrada. La RusAir è una compagnia privata basata a Mosca, specializzata in voli charter nella Russia occidentale ed in Europa orientale. Quattro stranieri fra le vittime: uno svedese, un olandese e due ucraini.

The pilot lost contact with the control tower at 23.40 (local time) and clipped house roof tops before bringing down a power line and crashing onto the highway. RusAir is a private company based in Moscow, which specializes in charter flights to Western Russia and Eastern Europe. Four foreigners were among the victims: a Swede, a Dutchman and two Ukrainians.

The black boxes were found. Among the possible causes adverse weather conditions or the failure of the ground guidance system for landing manoeuvres have been cited. On impact the area was covered by a thick fog and pouring rain. None of this however explains why the pilot headed toward the highway instead of' the airport, where, however, the warning lights that surround the runway were not lit.
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