50 people die in Russian plane crash today

A passenger plane crashed at an airport in the Russian city of Kazan today, killing all 50 people on board, reports say.
The Boeing 737 had taken off from Moscow and was trying to land but exploded on impact at about 19:20 local time (15:20 GMT), officials said.

The Emergencies Ministry said there were 44 passengers and six crew members on the Tatarstan Airlines flight.

Investigators are now looking at whether a technical failure or crew error may have caused the crash. Among the dead was Irek Minnikhanov, a son of the president of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, according to the official passenger list.
Aleksander Antonov, who headed Tatarstan's branch of the Federal Security Service, was also among the passengers. The victims also included two children.

Reports said the pilot had already tried to land several times before crashing. The crew had said they were not ready to land because of technical problems, Russian news agencies report.

The airport in Kazan - the capital of Tatarstan - has been closed since the accident and is expected to re-open on Monday morning.

Kazan lies about 720km (450 miles) east of Moscow.

Although some of Russia's biggest airlines now have very good reputations, frequent crashes by smaller operators mean the country has one of the worst air safety records in the world.

Source - BBC

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