Fifty die in plane crash in Russia

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A Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 has crashed at Kazan airport in Russia killing all fifty people on board.

The dead include the son of the Tatarstan president, the local FSB secret service boss, and one foreign national, a British woman.

Kazan airport will only reopen today and an investigation has been launched as to how the plane, which the airline says had experienced pilots and a clean service record, would suffer catastrophic failure.

Local reports say the plane suddenly lost height and ruptured its fuel tank on landing.

The 23-year-old leased 737 was in the process of aborting a landing in high winds after several attempts when it hit the runway and exploded in a ball of fire.

Russia and the former Soviet republics combined have one of the world’s worst air-traffic
safety records, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association.

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