Four dead in Russian plane crash

By Dan Rosenfeld,
Jet veered off the runway and burst into flames

A Russian airliner crashed outside of Moscow on Saturday, breaking into pieces and leaving at least four crew members dead. The accident has once again cast a spotlight on Russia’s poor air safety record.

According to The Guardian, the broken fuselage was left strewn about an icy road outside the airport. The aircraft was a Tupolev Tu-204, operated by the Russian airline Red Wings, and en route from the Czech Republic.

No passengers were on board, and eight crew members survived. The Tu-204 can carry up to 210 passengers.

The crash came amid light snow and winds gusting up to 30 mph, reported the New York Daily News. The state news agency RIA Novosti cited an unnamed official at the Russian Aviation Agency as saying another Red Wings Tu-204 had gone off the runway at the international airport in Novosibirsk in Siberia on December 20. That incident was due to a series of mechanical errors.

The Aviation Agency sent a directive to Tupolev requesting it to take urgent preventative measures. Currently, investigators are considering all factors in the crash, including pilot error.



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