44 killed, 8 injured in passenger plane crash in Russia’s north

Forty four people were killed and eight injured after a Tu-134 passenger aircraft crash landed in Russia’s northern republic of Karelia, a spokesman for the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Tuesday.

The plane en route from Moscow to Petrozavodsk crash landed on a highway one kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the airport, where it was scheduled to land at 0.04 Moscow time on Tuesday (20.04 GMT Monday). The plane fell apart and burst into flames upon the landing.

“According to new information, 52 people were on board of the plane that crashed. Forty four people were killed and eight injured,” the spokesman said.

Previous reports said the plane carried 43 passengers, including eight children, and five crew members.

Valentina Ulich, the health and social development minister of the republic of Karelia, said that among the killed in the crash was one foreigner. He was a rescuer from Sweden, she added.

Various crash versions are being studied at the moment including a human factor, said Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin, adding that a criminal case into the crash has been launched.

Rescuers working at the crash site have already discovered both flight recorders from the aircraft.

A Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Il-76 aircraft with rescuers and psychologists on board took off from Moscow to Petrozavodsk. It will take eight injured to hospitals in the Russian capital.

Tu-134 aircraft was launched in 1967 to become the most widely used airliner in the Soviet Union. It is capable of carrying 76 passengers.

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