Passenger plane crash kills 31 in Siberia


Passenger plane crash kills 31 in RussiaRex

A passenger plane in Siberia has crashed just after take-off - killing 31 of the 43 people on board.

The ATR-72 turboprop aircraft run by the Russian airline UTair had just left Roschchino Airport bound for Surgut when it crashed and burst into flames in a snow-covered field about 22 miles from Tyumen, a city that lies 1,700 kilometres (1,000 miles) east of Moscow and is the capital of one of Russia's biggest oil producing regions.

According to the BBC, the four flight crew members, two pilots and two flight attendants, all died.

The Russian emergencies ministry has published a list of those that perished; correspondents say they were all Russian, and that there were no children on board.

Passenger plane crash kills 31 in RussiaRex

According to AFP, the Tyumen emergencies ministry says that 12 people are in a critical condition in hospital.

In a statement, UTair said the plane came down just after take-off "while conducting a forced landing 1.5km (about one mile)" outside Roschchino Airport.

An airport security officer said the plane only managed to climb to about 100 metres before it lost communication with air traffic controllers, adding: "The liner's technical problems probably emerged during take-off and the crew tried to perform an emergency landing."

Air safety is a growing problem in Russia, where 15 planes crashed just last year, killing 120 people.

In September last year, 44 people died in a plane crash caused by "pilot error", including the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team.

And, back in 2010, the Polish president Lech Kaczynski and dozens of other senior Polish figures died when their plane crashed as it approached Smolensk airport in thick fog.

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