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Four people have died in a plane crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport after the aircraft skidded off the runway as it tried to land.

The Tupolev-204, operated by low-cost Russian carrier Red Wings, was carrying 8 people – all crew. Three of the four people injured are said to be in a critical condition, and two of the four dead are believed to be the pilot and co-pilot.

The plane broke into three pieces and caught fire as it hit the runway hard at around four thirty in the afternoon local time. Part of the wreckage is on the Kiev highway.

The flight arrived from the Czech Republic, but no Czech nationals were on board.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has confirmed the plane had to make a forced landing, and it crashed on its second attempt.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a special investigation into the accident.

Red Wings specialises in charter flights to Russia and Europe. The company is the largest buyer of Russian-made Tupolev-204 aeroplanes.

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