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Europe

Two die as Russian plane is forced into emergency landing

Two people died in an emergency landing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. The plane en route to Russia's Dagestan province was forced down after all of its three engines failed.

Tupolv Tu-154

The TU-154 is mainly used in former Soviet states

Two people died and more than 40 were injured in an emergency landing at a Moscow airport on Saturday.

The Dagestan Airlines Tupolev plane overshot the runway at Domodedovo airport with 171 passengers and crew on board.

"As a result of the TU-154 making an emergency landing at Domodedovo airport, two people died and several dozens were injured," Moscow transport spokeswoman Tatyana Morozova told the Russian Interfax news agency.

The plane was en route to the city of Makhachkala, capital of Russia's Dagestan province in the northern Caucasus.

Thirty minutes after departing Moscow's smaller Vnukovo airport, the plane's three engines failed and the crew was forced into an emergency landing at Domodedovo, the main airport in the Russian capital.

Terrorism ruled out

Preliminary investigations have suggested that the plane's engines were running on faulty fuel. Officials have ruled out a possible terrorism connection in the accident.

The plane hit the runway and subsequently raced into a field and broke up. Most passengers escaped without injuries but many were in shock and received psychological counseling at the airport.

Airport officials at Domodedovo said operations at the facility continued as normal with no disruptions to any of the scheduled flights.

The medium-haul civilian airliner TU-154 is the largest of the Soviet-built Tupolev planes. It first went into service in 1972 and is still in use in many of the former Soviet states as well as in Iran. Production ceased in 1994.

In April, a TU-154 carrying the Polish President Lech Kaczynski crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk. All 96 passengers died.

Author: Andreas Illmer (dpa, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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