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29 residents of Kazan die in Boeing 737 air crash in Kazan

November 18, 2013, 11:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Two foreigners - a British passport-holder and an Ukrainian citizen - died in the air crash
1 pages in this article
© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 18, /ITAR-TASS/. A total of 29 residents of Tatarstan died as a Boeing 737 plane crashed-landed in Kazan in central Russia on Sunday, spokeswoman to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Irina Rossius told Itar-Tass.

Among those who died in the crash were residents of other Russian regions and two foreigners, Rossius said.

“Eighteen passengers lived in Kazan and another six people lived in other cities of Tatarstan, including in Almetyevsk, Zelenodolsky, Nizhnekamsk and Naberezny Chelny,” the spokeswoman said.

Two passengers were from Mari El, in eastern Russia, and two people were from Udmurtia. The others were from the Kirov, Kemerovo, Tyumen, Ryazan, Lipetsk and Chelyabinsk regions. “Other two passengers lived in Dagestan and Moscow,” she said.

Two foreigners - a British passport-holder and an Ukrainian citizen - died in the air crash.

Five crewmembers were residents of Kazan and a stewardess was from the Moscow region.

Spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situation Irina Rossius earlier confirmed that two foreigners were onboard the Boeing jet that crashed in Kazan. The British Embassy in Moscow checked the information provided and confirmed that a British female died in the plane crash.

The list of victims of Sunday night's air crash in the airport of Kazan also contained the name of Irek Minnikhanov, son of Tatarstani President Rustam Minnikhanov, and the name of Alexander Antonov, chief of regional branch of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

EMERCOM officials also said there were two children aged eleven and fifteen years old among the passengers.

Earlier on Sunday night it was reported that rescuers have found the bodies of all the 50 people — 44 passengers and 6 crewmembers.

Boeing 737 crash

The Boeing 737 operated by the regional airline Tatarstan lost altitude and hit the runway at 19:26 Moscow time (15:26 GMT) in the final moments of a flight from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. The crew was making a second attempt to land after a go-around.

The jet’s fuel tanks exploded upon impact, thus causing fire that was extinguished fairly quickly.

Jet’s condition

Sources in the airline’s management said the jet was fully airworthy before departure from Moscow.

However, passengers who arrived in Moscow from Kazan Sunday afternoon aboard the Boeing 737 jet, which crashed several hours later on a return flight while landing in Kazan airport, told the Rossiya’24 television channel the misfortunate jet was in a very poor technical condition.

One of the passengers, Grigory Busarev, recalled the seats that would not recline and the meal tables that did not unfold.

“Still, the most horrifying things began during the landing,” he said. “It was bucketed from side to side as if it’d fallen into an air hole. I personally don’t remember anything of this kind.”

He admitted however that the jet looked fairly normal from the outside.

Versions

Not only the pilot’s error and bad weather might have caused the Boeing jet crash in Kazan, but also poor quality of the fuel, according to Deputy Head of Tatarstan’s Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee Marat Zaripov.

“One of the versions is poor quality of the fuel. At present, a direction has been given to take samples of fuel that was used to fill the jet in Moscow. Inquiry of flight operations officers that received the Boeing for landing is currently underway.”

According to initial inquiries’ results, the direct cause of the crash might have been wing contact with the ground while the missed approach procedure since the jet didn’t reach the necessary altitude and speed. The Boeing fell in 150 meters from the air strip. According to Zaripov, the plane’s wreck were thrown about on a square of 500x500 meters.

According to the representative of the Investigation Department, in the past year, the aircraft operated by Tatarstan Airlines since 2008 had also experienced problems.

Prior accident in Brazil

The Boeing 737-500 that crashed at the airport of Kazan 12 years ago appeared in the summary of accidents in Brazil. This is evidenced by the data preserved in Brazilian media and reports of national services responsible for safety of air traffic.

December 17, 2001, when landing at the airport in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte in adverse weather conditions of heavy rain, the plane with 102 passengers and 6 crew members hit the ground before the runway. After that, the Boeing jumped up and hit with the force the landing strip, and its left landing gear leg caved. The plane stopped in 1.7 km, moving along the strip and leaning on its left power generator.

Rescuers managed to evacuate all passengers and crew members. The severe accident then didn’t claim lives. However, the jet suffered extensive damage and needed serious reparation to step back into operation.

Then, the Boeing 737-500 was operated by Brazilian air carrier Rio Sul that specialized in regional traffic. After that, Rio Sul joined Varig Airlines that, in its turn, shut down in 2006 due to financial problems.

The written off Boeing 737-500 jet was produced in 1990.

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