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Passenger Plane Crash In Russia Leaves 50 Dead

A commercial aircraft crashed during a landing in the central Russian city of Kazan, state media is reporting.

According to RIA Novosti and Russia Today, the Emergencies Ministry says they fear at least 50 people are dead. RT reports:

"The plane caught on fire after the crash landing in Kazan, the capital of the largely-muslim region of Tatarstan. The flames were extinguished less than one hour into the disaster, ITAR-TASS reported.

"So far, rescuers have recovered the bodies of all 50 people from the crash site, according to Tatarstan's Disaster Medicine Center.

"An emergency services source told Interfax that the pilots made a mistake when entering the second lap, causing the plane to crash. However, the source added that there is a possibility that it was a technical failure.

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

Reuters reports that regional airlines in Russia have poor safety records. In April 2012, a passenger plane crashed in Siberia, killing at least 31 people. In Sept. 2011, a passenger jet crash killed the members of a major league ice hockey team.

"Russia and the former Soviet republics combined had one of the world's worst air-traffic safety records in 2010, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average, according to the International Air Transport Association," Reuters reports.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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