MOSCOW – An airliner veered off the runway at a Russian airport and ran partially onto a highway while it was attempting to land on Saturday, breaking into pieces and catching fire – at least four people have been confirmed dead in the Russian plane crash.
According to officials, there were eight people on board the Tu-204 belonging to Red Wings, a Russian airline, that was returning from the Czech Republic without passengers to Vnukovo Airport.
According to statement by emergency officials, given at a new conference, four people were killed, and the other four were severely injured when the airplane rolled into a snowy field, then disintegrated.
The cockpit of the plane was separated from the body with a large chunk gashing out near the tail.
The Russian plane crash happened amid a light snowfall with winds gusting up to 30 mph; however, more details were not known immediately. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s main investigative agency, said that indications were that the crash was caused by pilot error.
A state news agency in Russia cited an unidentified official as saying that another Red Wings Tu-204 ran into the same fate Dec. 20 in Siberia.
According to the agency, no one was hurt in that incident and it was caused by the plane engine’s failure to go into reverse, and the airliner’s brake system malfunctioned.
On Friday, the Aviation Agency told the president of the Tupolev company to take urgent preventative measures.
Prior to the Russian plane crash on Saturday, there were no fatal incidents reported for Tu-204s. Vnukovo, is one of Moscow’s three international airports.