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Russian passenger airplane crashes at Moscow's Vnukovo airportA passenger airliner has skidded off the runway at Russia’s third-busiest airport while landing, broke into pieces and caught fire, killing at least four people.

“After a hard landing, the plane split into three pieces,” Yelena Krylova, chief spokeswoman for the airport, said in a TV interview.

Officials on Saturday said there were eight people aboard the Tu-204 belonging to Russian airline Red Wings that was flying back from the Czech Republic without passengers to its home at Vnukovo Airport.

Emergency officials said in a televised news conference that four people were killed and another four severely injured when the plane rolled off the runway into a snowy field and disintegrated.

Russia’s state television showed photos of the plane’s wreckage, with the cockpit sheared off from the fuselage and a large chunk gashed out near the tail.

The crash occurred amid light snow, but other details were not immediately known.

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Vnukovo airport spokeswoman Yelena Krylova said it had enough personnel and equipment to keep the runway fully functional. The airport resumed receiving planes after a break of several hours.

Prior to Saturday’s crash, there had been no fatal accidents reported for Tu-204s, which entered commercial service in 1995. The plane is a twin-engine midrange jet with a capacity of about 210 passengers.

Vnukovo, on the southern outskirts of Moscow, is one of the Russian capital’s three international airports.

Source: www.aljazeera.com


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