Tu-134 Down In Russia, 44 Killed


It was just before midnight and foggy on Monday night when a Tupolev 134 on approach to the Petrozavodsk Airport in northwestern Russia hit trees and power lines, crashed and burned, killing 44 people. There were eight survivors, according to The Associated Press, who were rescued from the wreck by local citizens. The air traffic controller on duty said the pilot continued the approach beyond the point where he should have initiated a “second run,” according to the AP. The runway lights went out when the airplane hit power lines, at which point the controller said he instructed the crew to abort the landing, but it was already too late.

The Tu-134 was built in 1980 and operated by RusAir. Although Russia has long had a poor air safety record, there has been some progress in recent years. None of the country’s 13 largest air carriers has had a fatal accident in the last three years, according to the AP.