It is a national day of mourning in Russia for the victims of the Siberian plane crash in which at least 124 people died. Four other passengers are still reported missing, while 52 survivors are in hospital. Many of the 203 people on board were children, flying from Moscow to the Siberian city of Irkutsk for their summer holiday. Experts from the aircraft manufacturer Airbus are helping Russian investigators as they try to understand what went wrong.
The A310 landed normally but then failed to slow and hit a wall and garages at the end of the runway. Inside the airport friends and relatives are checking lists to find out where their loved-ones are being treated. Survivors described running for their lives from the burning wreckage.
“The plane landed, but it didn’t slow down. There was a sharp shock and everyone started to panic,” explained one woman.
Authorities are considering two explanations for the crash – either a technical fault, which is deemed unlikely, or an error by the pilots in choosing when to brake.