Russian plane crash kills 32 in Siberia

Apr 02 2012

A Russian passenger plane carrying 43 people has crashed shortly after take-off in Siberia, officials say.

Thirty-two people were killed and 11 survivors have been taken to hospital, Russia's emergencies ministry said.

The ATR-72 turboprop aircraft had just left Tyumen on a flight north-east to the oil town of Surgut when it crashed.

Officials said 39 passengers and four crew members were on board the plane. It remains unclear what caused the crash.

At least five survivors are in a critical condition, according to the state-run RIA news agency quoting hospital officials in Tyumen.

The Itar Tass news agency is reporting that all the crew, which was made up of two pilots and two flight attendants, died.

Flight 120 disappeared from radars at 05:35 local time (01:35 GMT), state-owned Russian news channel Rossiya 24 reported.

The carrier UTair is a domestic Russian airline. The company said on its website that the pilot had been trying to make an emergency landing when the plane came down.

A search team found it had crashed and burst into flames in a snowy field about 35km (22 miles) from Tyumen.

The ATR-72 turbo-prop aircraft was built by a French-Italian company.

The transport ministry has launched an investigation and the deputy transport minister has flown to the site.

Some reports suggest the flight recorder has been found which should help establish what caused the crash.

Air safety has been notoriously bad in Russia - but it had seemed to be improving, correspondents say.

Last year, at least 15 Russian planes crashed, killing 120 people and questions were raised about maintenance.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News 2012 BBC

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