At Least 124 People Lost In Runway Overrun
The grim search for bodies continues in the Siberian city of
Irkutsk, where an S7 Airlines Airbus A310 went down on Sunday.
The number of Authorities tell local media that 124 bodies have
been recovered so far, with six persons still unaccounted for. A
spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, Viktor Beltsov,
told CBS news that 75 of the 203 people onboard the plane survived
-- revising earlier estimates of as many as 150 fatalities.
Meanwhile, investigators are looking closely at the possibility
the airliner's brakes may have malfunctioned as the plane attempted
to land on the rain-slicked runway at Irkutsk. The runway also
slopes down a hill.
The plane's flight data recorders were recovered from the scene
immediately, said Transport Minister Igor Levitin, and are now
As Aero-News reported,
Sunday's accident was the second major commercial airliner accident
in as many months in Russia... and CBS reports it was followed
Monday by three other incidents involving Russian planes... one of
which was at the same airport. A Urals Airlines Tupelov Tu-154 made
a safe emergency landing at Irkutsk, Beltsov said.
Another S7 aircraft,
also an A310, made a successful emergency landing at the airport in
Simferopol Monday morning after what officials called a "technical
malfunction." That wasn't the only incident of the day in the
Ukranian airport, however; hours later, a Tu-134 carrying the
Russian navy chief departed the runway, followed by a fire in one
of the plane's two engines. There were no fatalities, but several
officers onboard the plane were burned.
All of these incidents may point to disturbing safety issues in
Russian commercial aviation... for now, however, the focus in
Russia is on Sunday's accident. Russian president Vladimir Putin
designated Monday as a national day of mourning -- and has also
called for an investigation into the accident.