A Boeing 737 airliner crashed on landing in the Russian city of Kazan on Sunday, killing all 50 people on board, the Emergencies Ministry said.
The flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was making a second attempt to land and exploded when it hit the runway, killing all 44 passengers and six crew on board.
The flight was operated by the regional Tatarstan airline, a ministry spokeswoman said.
Firefighters extinguished a fire at the scene. The airport in Kazan, the capital of the largely-Muslim region of Tatarstan, was closed, according to reports.
The plane was a passenger airliner belonging to Tatarstan Airlines. It crashed at around 7:20 p.m. local time today. There are no indications at this time as to what caused the Boeing airliner crash.
This breaking news article will be updated as soon as more information becomes available about today’s Boeing Airliner crash In Russia.
Historically air safety has been notoriously bad in Russia – but it has improved this year.
In 2011 some 15 Russian planes crashed, killing 120 people – and these figures only relate to civilian flights.
That was a 53% increase in crashes, and a fourfold increase in deaths, compared to the same period in 2010, according to Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.
The age of aircraft flying in Russia is sometimes an issue in accidents, but veteran Soviet pilot Oleg Smirnov says, “You can fly a plane even if it’s 40 years old, as long as you maintain it properly.”
The majority of Russian air disasters, Mr Smirnov believes, happen because of airlines’ determination to cut costs.
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency instuted a rule from January 2012 that only airlines operating 10 or more planes will be allowed to operate long-distance passenger flights. This year that number doubled.
Prior to this current disaster, there was an incident in January when SCAT Airlines Flight 760, a Bombardier CRJ200, crashed in thick fog near Almaty, Kazakhstan, killing all 16 passengers and 5 crew on board.
And just a few days before, in December, a Russian passenger jet crashed at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. This was a Red Wing Airlines Tu-204 aircraft which ran off runway and burst into flames, Two people died in this crash.