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December 4, 2010

Dagestan Airlines Plane Crash-Lands at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, At Least Two Killed

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At least two people were killed and dozens more were injured when a Dagestan Airlines passenger plane crash-landed at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Saturday, authorities said.

Dagestan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154

The Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft was making an emergency landing at Domodedovo after it had lost all three engines during the flight, which began at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport and was expected to go to an airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan.

Authorities said 160 passengers, including several children, and eight crew members were on board Flight 372. At least two people had been killed and 30 to 40 others had been injured and were transported to area hospitals, Russian news agencies reported.

Local media reports said the aircraft was heavily damaged after it had gone off the end of the runway and struck a fence. One report said the aircraft was on fire following the accident.

Yury Chaika, Russia’s Prosecutor General, immediately launched a criminal probe into the crash, the Interfax news agency reported. The office said it suspected pilot error as the cause of the accident, without releasing other details. Russia’s Civil Aviation Authority, meanwhile, said it would inspect the airline.

Russia has seen several major aviation accidents this year. On March 22, eight people were injured when a large passenger plane crashed on approach to Domodedovo airport after a flight from Egypt. Only crew members were on board the TU-204 Aviastar-TU jet.

And on April 10, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was among 96 people killed when a Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft crashed near the city of Smolensk in Russia. He was visiting Smolensk for the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Polish prisoners of war in the village of Katyn.

And in August, seven people were killed when a Katekavia Airlines passenger plane carrying fifteen people crashed in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region.

Photo by Dmitriy Pichugin

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