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Latvian experts to participate in investigation into Yak-42 crash

September 09, 2011, 14:19 UTC+3

Latvia has been already informed by the Russian side that the republic may participate in the investigation

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RIGA, September 9 (Itar-Tass) — Specialists from Latvia will participate in the investigation into the causes of the Yak-42 plane crash in the Yaroslavl Region, Civil Aviation Agency Director Maris Gorodcovs said in an interview on Latvian television on Friday.

Renowned Latvian hockey player Karlis Skrastins, who was in the Lokomotiv team, died in the plane crash.

Latvia has been already informed by the Russian side that the republic may participate in the investigation. The information was received by the Latvian bureau for investigation into transport accidents, which will deal with the accident.

The director said there was little information available so far to draw conclusions on the crash causes.

Speaking about the plane, the expert noted Yak-42 aircraft are rather outdated as compared to modern planes, but they have new engines.

It is obvious that the Russian fleet is mixed - there are airlines with modern aircraft made in Western countries and there are such that operate with planes made in the former Soviet Union.

However, it cannot be said that the Yak-42 was scrap, Gorodcovs said, noting that the plane had modern engines and it was used for only about half of its expected service life.

On September 7, the Yak-42 plane which took off for a flight to Minsk, fell two kilometres away from Tunoshna airport. Aboard the plane were all the players of Yaroslavl's Lokomotiv hockey team -- 37 people, including Latvian defence player Karlis Skrastins. Forty five people were aboard, 43 of them died in the crash, and two are in hospital.

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