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Military helps towing away damaged passenger plane in Russia’s Kaliningrad

January 05, 2017, 3:55 UTC+3

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal probe into the incident

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KALININGRAD, January 5. /TASS/. A Russian passenger aircraft, which overshot a runway during landing in the country’s westernmost city of Kaliningrad on Tuesday night and sank in a turf, was dragged out and will soon be towed away to the nearest hangar, a local official told TASS on Thursday.

Anton Alikhanov, an acting governor of the Kaliningrad Region, said in an interview with TASS that with the help of a military hardware the damaged plane was pulled out from the soil and placed on concrete panels to be then towed away in the direction of the airport’s main terminal.

"The military dragged out the plane, placed it on concrete panels, moved it further away and are currently preparing it to be towed away in the direction of the airport’s main terminal," Alikhanov said adding that it was the most complicated stage of the rescue operation.

Aeroflot’s Airbus A-320 was en route from Moscow carrying 167 passengers and five crew members, when it overshot a runway by five meters (16.4 feet) landing at the Khrabrovo Airport in Kaliningrad during a heavy snowstorm on the night of January 3.

The nose landing gear of the plane reportedly gave way as the passenger jet overshot the landing stripe and got stuck in a turf.

All passengers and crew members were safely evacuated via inflatable chutes of the aircraft.

The airport, however, had been closed since the incident, which reportedly left stranded over 1,500 passengers in Kaliningrad.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal probe into the incident.

Alikhanov’s spokeswoman Valeria Rodina added citing the acting governor that the airport would be provided with the all the necessary equipment to prevent all possible incidents in the future.

"This was a tough day for the Kaliningrad Region and the situation with the airplane was unexpected," Rodina quoted the acting governor as saying. "We will resolve this problem and the administration of the airport guarantees that the necessary equipment will be delivered this year. We will do our best not to let down our passengers anymore."

The official was also quoted as saying by Rodina that the landing stripe at the airport was not damaged and all flights would be possibly resumed in the early hours of Thursday.

"The landing stripe was not damaged and there are no obstacles for resuming the regular air traffic," according to Alikhanov. "I believe that the air traffic at the airport will be soon resumed.".

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