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AN-148 plane crashed and burst into flames

06 march 2011, 00:30
0
©AFP
©AFP
Six crew members died when a plane they were testing crashed in central Russia on Saturday, the Russian emergency ministry is quoted by AFP as saying.

The six died when the AN-148 plane crashed and burst into flames on Saturday morning around 160 kilometres east of the city of Belgorod, the ministry said in a statement, citing preliminary data.

The dead included two citizens of Myanmar, along with two pilots and two flight engineers who were Russian citizens, the regional emergency ministry said.

The Myanmar citizens were identified as pilots Htein Lin Aung and Zaw Htun Aung.

Russia's state aircraft holding, the United Aircraft Corporation, said the plane was intended for Myanmar, fulfilling a contract signed in 2010 between the holding and the Myanmar government.

The pilots from Myanmar were undergoing flight training in a plane that had been tested by the factory, it said in a statement.

The plane disappeared from the radar at 10:40 am (0740 GMT), and a plane flying over the area later spotted a fire where it crashed, the source said.

A witness cited by the Interfax news agency said the plane appeared to burst into flames before hitting the ground.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement that it had opened a criminal investigation into breaches of flight safety rules.

The AN-148, designed by Ukraine's Antonov factory and built by Voronezh aircraft factory in a joint project, is a jet liner with a regional range that can be used for passengers and cargo.

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