Russian Plane Crashes in Siberia, 29 Killed

Posted April 2nd, 2012 at 2:25 am (UTC-5)
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Russian emergency officials say at least 29 people were killed when a passenger plane crashed in Siberia early Monday shortly after takeoff. Fourteen survivors were rescued.

The ATR-72, a twin-engine, turbo-prop plane operated by the Russian carrier UTair, went down some 35 kilometers from the western Siberian city of Tyumen while heading to the oil town of Surgut. The cause of the crash is not known.

There were 39 passengers and four crew members onboard the aircraft.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said the injured survivors were flown by helicopter to a hospital in Tyumen after the plane caught fire following the crash.

“This morning at 5:40 a.m. we received a phone call from the dispatcher at the Roschino airport that 35 kilometers west of the airport in Tyumen, an ATR 72 has crashed after take off. It fell some 15 kilometers west of the Tyumen city itself, after takeoff. The plane was on a flight to Surgut.”

The state-run RIA news agency quoted medical officials as saying at least five survivors were in critical condition.

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