Both black boxes have now been found after a passenger plane plummeted into a field in Ukraine, killing all 170 people on board. The discovery should help establish the cause of Tuesday’s disaster. Officials initially said lightning had probably hit the aircraft but investigators have warned against drawing premature conclusions. The plane was operated by one of Russia’s largest carriers, Pulkovo Airlines. Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, who heads a government commission investigating the crash, emphasized that Russian and Ukrainian authorities are working together.
Flight 612 was flying from the Black Sea resort of Anapa back to its home base in St Petersburg when it came down, north of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. A local resident took pictures on a mobile phone as the plane exploded in a ball of flames. A visit to the crash site has been arranged for distraught relatives today. Among the dead were 45 children. Most of the passengers were Russians but two Germans, a Dutch national, a French citizen and a Finn were also believed to be on board.