Russian Plane Hits Turbulence and Catches on Fire – Landing Gear Fails and Pulkovo Flight Tu-154 Crashes

Russian Plane Hits Turbulence and Catches on Fire – Landing Gear Fails and Pulkovo Flight Tu-154 Crashes

Russian officials say that all passengers and crew were killed in the plane crash near Donetsk Russia yesterday. The deputy head of Pulkovo Airlines also said there was no information on survivors.

There were 160 passengers and 10 crew members on board flight Tu-154 from Anapa in southern Russia to St. Petersburg. The flight went down in the southern Ukraine at 3:37 p.m. Moscow time (1137 GMT) on Tuesday.

The Russian press agency, Interfax reports that a fire had broken out on board the plane shortly before it crashed. There may have been severe turbulence, according to the head of the Russian Federal Air Navigation Service Alexander Neradko.

Emergency workers were quoted as saying the jet was seen on fire on the ground. The Xinhau news agency reports that the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Irina Andrianova spokesperson said “the plane sent an SOS signal and at 3:39 it disappeared from radar screens. Early reports say the plane crashed 45 kilometers north of Donetsk.”

The Interfax agency went on to say that a fire flared up inside the aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 meters (about 33,000 feet). The crew tried to make an emergency landing but failed due to the malfunction of the plane's landing gear, and the jet crashed "on its belly”. The Russians will be investigating.

By Dan Wilson
Staff Writer

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