Saturday, January 01, 2011

Russian passenger jet explodes (UPDATED)

1st UPDATE: This BBC report contains an even more dramatic picture of the plane soon after the explosion.

The same make of plane was involved in last April's crash that killed the president of Poland who was leading a delegation to Russia for a World War II commemoration.

ORIGINAL POST: At last check, three are dead and more than 40 injured after the plane exploded while preparing to take off. The Associated Press reports:
Emergency services spokesman Vadim Grebennikov said the fire, which began in one of the engines as the plane taxied for takeoff, caused a powerful blast that destroyed the Tu-154 aircraft and spread flames across 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet).
Russian television showed video taken with a mobile telephone of the burning plane, its center a giant fireball. All that remained afterward was the tail section and part of a wing.
Grebennikov said 10 people were seriously injured, including six who were badly burned and four who suffered broken bones or other trauma. Most of the other injured passengers sought treatment for poisoning after inhaling toxic fumes.
The plane, which belonged to the regional Kogalymavia airline, was flying from the western Siberian town of Surgut to Moscow.
This picture perhaps best captures the danger that passengers and crew faced.

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