At least 120 Die in Russian Plane Crash

July 9, 2006

An Airbus 310 went out of control on landing at the Irkutsk airport early this morning, July 9 local time, crashing through a concrete wall into a building and then bursting into flames. At least 120 people are reported to have died; some 55 passengers managed to survive with injuries. News reports indicate, however, that the death toll could reach 150, as authorities continue to sift through the smoldering wreckage.

The A-310 was operated by Russia’s S7 (formerly Sibir Airlines) on a flight from Moscow to Irkutsk in Siberia. It carried 192 passengers and a crew of 8, all of whom reportedly died in the crash.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered a full inquiry. The flight data recorders have been recovered, but have not yet been analyzed.

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