Six dead in southern Russia plane crash

March 6th, 2011 - 12:17 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW (BNO NEWS) — Six crew members were killed Saturday in a plane crash in the village of Garbuzovo in southern Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Management said in a statement.

The Antonov An-148 airplane on a test flight went off the radar screens at 10:40 Moscow time [07:40 GMT] and crashed shortly afterwards, killing all people on board. Fire and rescue units were sent right after the crash, and the fire was extinguished at 11.30 Moscow time, according to the Emergencies Ministry.

The state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported the victims were two Russian pilots, two flight engineers, and two Myanmar nationals. The plane was being tested prior to delivery to Myanmar, which ordered two last year for government use.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on charges of violation of flight safety regulations, while the Prosecutor General’s Office had launched its own probe.

Russia has seen several major aviation accidents over the past 12 months. On March 22, 2010, eight people were injured when a large passenger plane crashed on approach to Domodedovo airport in Moscow after a flight from Egypt. Only crew members were on board the TU-204 Aviastar-TU jet.

On April 10, 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was among 96 people killed when a Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft crashed near the city of Smolensk in Russia. He was visiting Smolensk for the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Polish prisoners of war in the village of Katyn.

Months later, in August, seven people were killed when a Katekavia Airlines passenger plane carrying fifteen people crashed in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region.

More recently, on December 4, three people were killed and around 40 others were injured when a Tupolev Tu-154 Dagestan Airlines passenger plane crash-landed at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport while making an emergency landing after it had lost all three engines during the flight. Authorities said 160 passengers, including several children, and eight crew members were on board.

Weeks later, on December 29, 2010, twelve people were killed when a large Russian Air Force aircraft crashed near the village of Krasny Oktyabar in central Russia.

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