7 dead as plane crash lands in Russia

A passenger plane made an emergency landing in Samara, 1,100 kms east of Moscow.
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Updated on Mar 17, 2007 05:50 PM IST
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AFP | By, Moscow

Seven people were killed and 50 injured on Saturday when a passenger plane made a crash landing in Samara, 1,100 kilometres east of Moscow, officials told Russian media.

"The crash landing took place at 9:40 am at the Samara airport. The plane's fuselage broke apart during the landing," Irina Adrianova, a spokeswoman for the emergency situations ministry, told state television channel Vesti-24.

Of the 57 people on board, seven people died and 50 were injured, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a ministry spokesperson as saying.

According to preliminary information, the plane, a Tupolev Tu-134 operated by local airline YUT-Air, crashed when its landing gear failed to deploy, officials said.

The injured passengers were taken from the site of the crash at Samara airport to local hospitals.

The crash came three days after a Boeing 737 carrying 143 passengers made an emergency landing in Moscow after experiencing problems in one of its two engines. No one was injured in the incident.

Russia suffered its worst-ever year for air safety in 2006, with 33 accidents leaving 318 dead -- a six-fold increase over 2005 -- according to a report by the Interstate Aviation Committee, a joint group involving former Soviet states.

The report blamed human error for 70 percent of Russia's air accidents over the past five years.

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