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Boeing Airliner Crashes In Russian City Of Kazan, All 50 Aboard Killed

posted 17 Nov 2013, 14:49 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 17 Nov 2013, 14:50 ]

All 50 people aboard a Boeing 737 are killed when a regional Tatarstan airliner crashes on landing in the Russian city of Kazan, 800 kilometres east of Moscow, according to the emergencies ministry.

MOSCOWRUSSIA  (NOVEMBER 17, 2013) (RUSSIA 24) -  A Boeing 737-500 airliner crashed on landing in the Russian city of Kazan on Sunday (November 17), killing all 50 on board and highlighting the poor safety record of Russian airlines that fly internal routes across the world's largest nation.

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The Tatarstan Airlines flight from Moscow was trying to abort its landing in order to make a second approach, but it exploded on hitting the runway, killing all 44 passengers and six crew on board, according to emergency officials.

The only picture shown from the scene on Russian television reports was a blurred still shot of the plane's fuselage with fire-fighters in the foreground, apparently after they had extinguished a fire at the scene.

Flight U363 took off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport at 6:25 pm (1425 GMT) and crashed just over an hour later, according to emergency officials.

The plane was 23 years old.

According to eyewitness reports, the Boeing lost altitude quickly and its fuel tank exploded on impact.

There were high winds and cloudy skies over the airport in central Russia. Temperatures were above zero.

Boeing officials at the Dubai Airshow declined to comment on the crash.

Kazan, which is 800 km (500 miles) east of Moscow, is capital of the largely-Muslim, oil-rich region of Tatarstan. A new runway was built at the airport ahead of the World Student Games, held in the city earlier this year.

Russia will host the Winter Olympics in the southern city of Sochi early next year.

Russia spans nine time zones, from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific across vast areas of largely uninhabited land, making efficient air travel and train links especially important to the country's economy. In Soviet times Aeroflot had a virtual monopoly of the airline industry, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a multitude of small private companies emerged.

A spokesman for state aviation oversight agency Rosaviatsia said authorities would search for the flight recorders.