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Russian cargo plane crew blinded by laser beam

world Updated: Aug 31, 2011 16:19 IST

The crew of a Russian cargo plane were blinded by a laser beam as the aircraft prepared to land at a city in Siberia today, prompting authorities to seek a ban on the sale of equipment generating laser rays.

The incident, one of 50 such attacks on civil aircraft reported in Russia this year, occurred in the Yemelyanovsk District of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, as the crew of the Il-76 cargo plane was blinded by a laser beam.

The plane, belonging to Aerostar Company, landed safely, Itar-Tass reported.

The police press service said this was the first case of laser hooliganism in Siberia.

"The department decided to draft a document, which would initiate a ban on unlimited sale of laser beams equipment in Russia, which would be forwarded to the Territory's legislators for further presentation to the State Duma," the report said.

Russia has registered about 50 laser attacks on civil aircraft from the beginning of this year. The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has asked all organisations and individuals not to use laser beams against an aircraft.

When a laser beam strikes the eye, it causes temporary blindness.