One dead after Russian plane bursts into flames: official

1st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

One person was killed on Saturday and three more missing after a Russian aircraft burst into flames on a runway at an airport in Russia's Far North, officials said.

The Tupolev plane with 116 passengers and eight crew on board had been due to fly from the city of Surgut in the Far North of Russia's Urals region to Moscow.

The investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement that the plane had started burning while taxiing on the runway at Surgut ahead of take-off.

"The emergency services were unable to put out the fire and there was an explosion. The passengers and members of the crew were evacuated before the explosion."

However, the statement said one corpse had been found and four people had been hospitalised.

The spokesman for the regional branch of the emergencies ministry Vadim Rebennikov confirmed the death toll of one but said that three people were also missing, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

Initial reports said that one of the plane's engines caught fire in the air and it made an emergency landing but subsequently officials said that the incident had taken place before take-off on the runway.

© 2011 AFP

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