Tags: Russia | russia | plane | crash | clues

Russia Seeks Clues Over Plane Crash That Killed 50

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 11:03 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
KAZAN, Russia — Russian investigators sifted through the charred remains of a Boeing 737-500 airliner on Monday in the search for clues about what caused it to crash and burst into flames, killing all 50 people on board.

Sunday's crash raised new concerns about Russia's poor safety record as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in the southern city of Sochi in February, an event on which President Vladimir Putin has staked much personal political prestige.

Residents of Kazan wiped away tears as they lay flowers at the airport where the plane crashed in windy weather, with some venting anger over Russia's bad safety record. Flags flew at half mast in the city 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Moscow.

"The whole town is in mourning," said Elvira Khadiulina, a nursery-school teacher who came to the airport to mourn friends who died in the crash. "These people were only a few minutes from being safe on the ground."

The Tatarstan Airlines flight from Moscow had been trying to abort its landing when it nosedived into the runway, killing all 44 passengers and six crew.

"The plane just fell," Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters. "The plane was vertical, practically vertical."

But he added the black box flight recorders, which were found on Monday, would need to be analyzed for more information.

Tatarstan Airlines said it was grounding all its Boeing 737 pending the results of the investigation into the crash.

"The main versions are pilot error and technical problems, including equipment failure," Alexander Poltinin, a senior regional investigator, said of the crash.

He said the plane's fuel tank had exploded on impact and it could take weeks for all the dead to be identified in the wreckage, scattered over a wide area.

"There are mostly just fragments of bodies, few corpses," local health ministry official Nail Nigmatullin told the Interfax news agency.

The son of the president of the oil-rich province of Tatarstan and the regional head of the FSB intelligence service were named among those killed. The dead also included two foreigners, a Briton, and a Ukrainian.

"JUST AWFUL"

"It's unimaginable — it's awful, just awful," said a man who gave his name as Dmitry as he left flowers at the airport gate. "Everyone already knows what state our national aviation is in, so . . . this isn't surprising."

Russia and the other former Soviet republics combined have one of the world's worst air-traffic safety records, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association.

In Soviet times, flag carrier Aeroflot had a virtual monopoly of the airline industry, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many small private companies emerged.

IATA said last year that global airline safety had improved but accident rates had risen in Russia and the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.

The government says it is confident about security and safety matters at the Sochi Olympics and the city's international airport has been upgraded for the Games.

There had been no technical problems reported with the leased 23-year-old plane prior to the flight and regular maintenance between flights had been conducted, officials said.

Boeing said in a statement it was prepared to provide technical assistance to the investigators.

Kazan is the capital of the largely Muslim region of Tatarstan. There was no suggestion of foul play.

A new runway was built at the airport before the World University Games, held in the city in July. Kazan is one of the venues for the soccer World Cup that Russia is hosting in 2018.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Italian Police Break $2.2B Corporate Tax Fraud Ring

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:36 AM

Italy's financial police on Tuesday said they had broken up a ring of companies they believe used false accounting to de . . .

CEO of French Oil Giant Total Killed in Moscow Plane Crash

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:29 AM

Russian and French experts were investigating Tuesday a plane crash at a Moscow airport which killed the CEO of French o . . .

Istanbul University a Battleground for Rival Protests Over ISIS

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:23 AM

It was as if we were in the middle of a war zone, said 22-year-old drama student Aslihan Celebi as she described the sc . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved