Two killed as plane makes emergency landing in Russia

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A passenger plane slammed into buildings at a Moscow airport after making an emergency landing Saturday, killing two people and injuring dozens, Russian investigators said.

The Dagestan Airlines Tupolev plane carrying more than 155 people overshot the runway after landing at the Domodedovo airport outside Moscow, with all three of its engines failing, authorities said.

"According to new information, as the result of the emergency landing of the TU-154 in Domodedovo, two people died and around 40 people were injured," an emergency ministry spokesman told the ITAR-TASS news agency.

"At the moment, almost 50 people are being prepared for hospitalisation," a source at the airport told the RIA Novosti news agency.

The airliner was forced to land shortly after taking off because two of its engines failed, and the third failed while landing, making it overrun the runway, the investigative committee of the State Prosecutor's Office said.

"After take-off, two of the engines failed so the captain took the decision to make an emergency landing in Domodedovo airport," investigators said in a statement.

"While landing, the third engine failed and the plane rolled beyond the runway and collided with buildings on the ground. As a result, two people died."

Investigators opened a criminal investigation into breaches of safety rules, they said.

An airport spokeswoman told the agency there were 155 passengers on board the plane.

A spokeswoman for the Moscow transport prosecutors' office said however it carried 163 passengers, including seven children, and nine crew members, Interfax reported.

The emergency ministry said meanwhile there were 160 passengers and eight crew members on board, ITAR-TASS reported.

The plane was flying from Moscow's Vnukovo airport to Makhachkala in Dagestan in the North Caucasus, the emergency ministry said.

The investigative committee said however it was en route to Mineralniye Vody, a spa resort in the North Caucasus.

An emergency cell was set up at the airport with representatives of the police, investigators, health ministry and other agencies to deal with the crash, ITAR-TASS reported.

More than 20 ambulances were sent from Moscow to the airport, some 40 kilometres away (25 miles), Interfax reported.

© 2010 AFP

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