Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Text Only

Help

Site Map

Monday, December 8, 1997 Published at 20:02 GMT



World

Russia suspends flights after Siberia crash
image: [ Rescue workers are discovering some bodies too badly burnt to identify ]
Rescue workers are discovering some bodies too badly burnt to identify

Russia has suspended all flights by military cargo planes of the type which crashed on the Siberian city of Irkutsk on Saturday.

All of the Russian air force's giant Antonov An-124 transport planes have been grounded for at least two weeks as investigators try to find out how the accident happened.

As night fell on Sunday another body was pulled from the smouldering rubble left after the disaster.

The Russian authorities say the death toll has reached 42 but is expected to rise further with more than 20 people still unaccounted for.

The massive plane's `black box' flight recorders have been recovered and returned to Moscow for examination.

But officials say the three flight recorders had been damaged in the massive fire which followed the impact.


[ image: The Russian prime minister at the crash site]
The Russian prime minister at the crash site
The Russian Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, grimly toured the accident site on Sunday wrapped up against the bitter cold.

One report circulating in Irkutsk suggests the plane's crew told air traffic controllers just before the crash two of the four engines had failed.

Seconds later the plane smashed into a residential area.

Some of the bodies pulled from the rubble by an army of 1,400 rescuers were charred beyond recognition.


[ image: More than 1,400 people are working at the site]
More than 1,400 people are working at the site
The plane, which was carrying 100 tons of fuel, was transporting two fighter planes to Vietnam.

It came down shortly after take off and sliced the top off the five-storey block of flats and caught fire.

Burning wreckage landed on other buildings, including a school and an orphanage and at least two children died.


[ image: The plane was carrying 100 tons of fuel]
The plane was carrying 100 tons of fuel
Some reports blamed the crash on poor quality fuel and local officials said the death toll could have been far higher if the town's gas supply had not been coincidentally cut off shortly before the crash.

Some survivors, including children received horrific burns and local people say they will now campaign to have flight paths changed, so that military planes are kept clear of residential areas.

On Monday an attempt will be made to move the tail of the aircraft which is still wedged into one of the apartment blocks.

BBC Moscow Correspondent, Rob Parsons: Many casualties on the ground: (Dur 1'03")





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Related Stories

Catalogue of disasters

Russian media reports on Siberia plane crash

Russian premier visits crash scene

Russian Disasters: Openness & Concern

Internet Links

Airline Safety Information

Aviation safety resource


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named





World Contents

Middle East
Africa
Europe
Americas
South Asia
From Our Own Correspondent
Letter From America
Asia-Pacific