At least 44 people have been killed in a plane crash in Russia. The aircraft attempted to land in heavy fog and it is believed the wing clipped runway lights on landing, causing a blackout.
The Tupolev-134 had taken off from Moscow and came down outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk at about 11.40 Monday night local time.
Rescue workers rushed to the burning wreckage, trying to save some of the 52 people onboard, including nine crew members. Amongst the survivors is a 10-year-old boy who is one of the seven injured described as in a ‘grave condition’.
One eyewitness describes how he tried to help the victims. “I managed to carry a woman or girl in my arms – she was light. Then there was a man, he was light too. Two other people helped me move a big man. Then we took away two more people who were in the middle of the road. I couldn’t get close enough to help any more people because of the fire,” he said.
The dead include one Swedish, one Dutch and two Ukrainian nationals. Another Tupolev crash in Russia last year killed the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov has said Monday night’s crash is similar to that one and added that pilot error is the most likely cause.