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137 dead in Siberian plane crash

Eleven people walked away from the crash site among a complex of garages near the airport and 52 others were hospitalised.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 08:43 IST

Up to 137 people died when a Russian passenger plane veered off a runway, slammed into a concrete wall and burst into flames while landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, officials said.

"Sixty-three people survived the crash yesterday.... There were 200 people on board," a spokesman for the Irkutsk section of the emergency situations ministry said.

Eleven people walked away from the crash site among a complex of garages near the airport and 52 others were hospitalised, the spokesman said, adding that 120 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage.

Later rescue officials said as quoted by the Vesti television news that a total of 195 passengers and eight crew were on board, and that 122 bodies were found while 74 people had survived.

The incident occurred when the Airbus A310 careered off the tarmac early on Sunday in slippery conditions, possibly due to a hydraulic brake failure, according to an enquiry official.

The plane then broke through a wall and ploughed into the garage complex used by local residents, officials said.

Russia's Vesti 24-hour news channel broadcast images recorded on a mobile phone that showed flames and thick black smoke billowing from the fuselage.

"It was terrifying. People were shouting. People were on fire. I saw people on fire. Then I jumped out," said Margarita Svetlova, a young survivor interviewed on Russia's Channel One television station.