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Russia Tragedy: At Least 50 Dead in Passenger Jet Crash

44 passengers and 6 crew all reportedly killed when plane exploded as it landed.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 11/17/2013, 7:57 PM

Emergency workers at the scene of the crash
Emergency workers at the scene of the crash
Frame of video

At least 50 people have died after a passenger jet crashed in the central Russian city of Kazan Sunday.

Interfax news agency reports that the Boeing 737-500 exploded after crash-landing in Kazan airport at 15:25 GMT, when its nose hit the ground during touchdown.

Emergency services say the bodies of all 44 passengers and 6 staff have been recovered from the site, according to the Russian Emergency Ministry.

Irek Minnikhanov, the son of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Alexander Antonov, the regional head of the federal security service were among the victims, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

Flight U363 took off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport without any problems, and initial reports indicate that human error was to blame for the tragedy.

“The plane attempted to land several times. One of the [fuel] tanks detonated while the plane was landing,” said Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius, according to Interfax.

The flight was operated by the regional Tatarstan airline. Whilst Russia's major airlines have good safety records, many of the smaller, regional airlines' reputations are far worse, and are largely responsible for the fact that Russia's air-safety record is one of the worst in the world.