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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 15:53 GMT
Seven die in Russian air crash
wreckage of the plane
It remains unclear what caused the incident
At least seven people have been killed and more than 20 hurt after a passenger plane made an emergency landing in central Russia, officials say.

They say the Tu-134 jet crashed on landing in the city of Samara, some 900km (550 miles) south-east of Moscow.

"The plane made a harsh landing. As a result the plane's fuselage broke apart," Russia's emergency situation ministry spokeswoman said.

She said 50 passengers and seven crew were aboard the plane.

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The twin-engine aircraft of Russia's YUT-Air airlines crash-landed at 1045 local time (0645 GMT) in thick fog, officials said.

It remains unclear what caused the incident.

Emergency situations ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said the plane "grazed the runway with one of its wings", Ria Novosti agency reported.

There were also reports that the jet's landing gear failed to come down.

The plane was en route from the Siberian city of Surgut, about 2,200km (1,400 miles) east of Moscow.

Rescue teams are working at the scene.

A number of people have been taken to hospital.

Tu-134s are widely used in Russia and other former Soviet republics.

The last major crash of a Russian airliner was last August, when a Tu-154 crashed in Ukraine, killing all 170 people aboard.

Investigators later concluded that pilot error was to blame.


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07 Mar 07 |  Europe

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