Karelia announces three-day mourning for plane crash victims

A three-day period of mourning for the victims of Monday’s deadly air crash starts in Karelia on Wednesday, the northwestern Russian republic’s administration reported.

The RusAir Tu-134 jet took off from Moscow and was due to arrive in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia, at 00:04 on Tuesday (20:04 GMT Monday), but crash landed on a nearby highway, which was shrouded in fog.

The aircraft broke up and burst into flames on impact. Eight of the 52 people on board survived and were taken to local hospitals.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday that various possible causes for the accident were being studied, including human error. A criminal case into the crash has been launched.

A spokesman for Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsia said on Tuesday the plane began to descend earlier than planned for unknown reasons, deviated from the runway and hit trees, and then the power lines.

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