Tu-134 crashes in Karelia

A Tu-134 flying from Moscow crashed near Petrozavodsk airport last
night. There were 52 people on board; 44 of them, including 7
children, died, Assistant Minister for Healthcare and Social
Development Sofia Malyavina said, RIA Novosti reports.


6 of the 8 surviving passengers are hospitalized. An Il-76 arrived to
provide medical aid. A man and a 10-year-old are in grave condition.
The Tu-134 belonged to Rusair. The accident may have been caused by a
5-second shut down of runway illumination, the chairman of the
committee for security of the population Nikolai Fedotov said,
ITAR-TASS reports.


The runway was covered in fog. The plane went 150-200 meters off
course. A member of the control tower staff saw the problem when the
plane was at an altitude of 110 meters with a vision of 170 meters.
The plane hit a power line and crashed in a forest.


Witnesses say that the plane hit a car, which is still under its
fuselage. The power line restoration will start at 9:00.


The Tu-134 was made at the Kharkov state aviation factory in 1980. It
was in good condition, despite its age.


Rusair was established in 1994. It organizes flights for companies and
VIPs. It has 27 short- and medium-haul liners, including five Tu-134s.

Petrozavodsk airport is located 12 km north-west of the city. It was
built in August 1939. It is capable of receiving Il-76, Tu-134,
Tu-154, Yak-40 and other light planes and any helicopters. The airport
is also used by the military and border guards of the Russian FSB. The
airport was modernized on December 1, 2009, allowing it to operate at
night.

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