July 9, 2006 in Nation/World

Over 100 die in Siberian plane crash

Henry Meyer Associated Press

MOSCOW – An airplane carrying about 200 people crashed today in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, and most on board are feared dead, officials said.

The regional prosecutor’s office said a preliminary count showed that more than 150 people died, the Interfax news agency reported.

The plane was carrying 192 passengers, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said.

Andrianova said 43 people had been hospitalized.

The Interfax report said that the dead were believed to include the eight crew members.

The Airbus A-310 operated by Sibir, Russia’s second-largest airline, crashed upon landing, went off the runway and burst into flames, Andrianova said.

“The aircraft veered off the runway on landing. It was traveling at a terrific speed,” Andrianova said.

The plane hit a concrete barrier, collapsing the front section of the aircraft, she said. It then burst into flames.

The aircraft was on a flight from Moscow to Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal.

It took five emergency services more than two hours to extinguish the flames, Andrianova said.

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