MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Four people were killed when a Russian Tupolev Tu-204 medium-haul airliner overshot the runway while landing at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport and caught fire on Saturday, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
The cause of the incident was not immediately clear. Sources in the Emergencies Ministry said pilot error is currently being viewed as the probable cause.
There were eight people on board the plane, all of whom were crewmembers, flying from the Czech Republic.
It has been confirmed that in addition to the four deaths four people were injured.
The plane rolled out onto Moscow’s Kievskoye Highway abutting the airport, which was closed off to traffic both ways.
Fourteen ambulances with a total of 64 medical personnel responded to the emergency.
Vnukovo airport was closed with all incoming planes diverted to Sheremetyevo. Vnukovo resumed flight operations at 6:35 p.m., an airport spokesman said.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a special commission to be set up to investigate the accident, government press spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.
The plane belonged to Red Wings, a Moscow-based airline that operates 8-10 Tu-204 planes, each with capacity to carry up to 210 passengers.
The Moscow city transport prosecutor's office has launched a probe into the airline's compliance with Russian aviation safety regulations.
The plane's flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have already been recovered.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.