Russia grounds eight planes after deadly crash

September 10th, 2011 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Flights of eight planes have been suspended after a deadly air crash virtually wiped out one of Russia’s most successful hockey teams, the Russian transport watchdog said.

Transport safety regulator Rostransnadzor ordered inspection of all airlines that operate Yak-42 planes. Sixteen Russian airlines currently operate 57 such planes.

A Yak-42 plane crashed shortly after take-off from an airport near Yaroslavl, some 250 km from Moscow, killing 43 people, most of them players and coaches of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team. Two survivors remain in critical condition.

Yak Service, the owner of the crashed plane, has a fleet of 10 aircraft and five of them were grounded after the inspection.

The company was instructed “to carry out a set of measures to decrease safety risks in Yak-42 operations”, Rostransnadzor said in a statement.

Inspectors also suspended flights of aircraft owned by Grozny Avia, Gazprom Avia and KrasAvia.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who visited the crash site Thursday, said he would discuss the club’s future with officials of the sports ministry.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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