The city of Kazan witnessed a Boeing Airliner crash that killed all fifty passengers and crew on board. The accident of the Boeing 737 airliner also highlights the poor records of safety by the regional airlines plying at different international routes over the largest country in the world. The plane crash also had some notable victims. The son to the president of the oil-rich Tatarstan province and the regional head officer of the FSB intelligence service were among the passengers when the plane turned into a ball of fire following a huge explosion just after touching the runway. The official television broadcast showed a blurred video of a bright light flash. Other sources displayed images of charred remains scattered all over the runway.
The Boeing flight belonged to Tatarstan airlines and it was arriving from Moscow. The plane was trying to abort landing and making a second approach to touchdown, when it crashed. There were 44 passengers and 6 crew members on board. The Flight U 363 went up from the Domodedovo airport in Moscow at 6.25 pm and crashed after an ill-fated flight of one hour. This plane was on lease to the airlines and was quite old. Reports point out that it had over 23 years in flight experience. The press release from the airlines clarified that there were the routine service checks between the flights. There was no report of any technical problems also. The pilots, both of them, were 1966 born, and had a lot of combined experience.
The local reports note that the Boeing was struggling with maintaining altitude and the exploding fuel tank immediately turned the U 363 into an inferno. Following the impact, authorities suspended all flights at the airport till Monday midday. Kanzan, located in the east of Moscow, around 800 kilometer from there is capital city of the oil-famous Tartarstan. Coincidentally, Irek, son to the Tartarstan President, Rustam Minnikhanov, was also dead in the crash. Another notable passenger in the casualty list was Alexander Antonov, who was the regional FSB Chief. A foreign national from UK was also in the list of dead.
Russia exhibits very poor traffic safety records throughout its aviation history. The International Air Transport Association notes that the accident rate in Russia was around thrice the 2011 world average. Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister expressed his shock at the tragedy, which he described as ‘frightening’. He chose the Tweeter to express his condolences to the victims. Boeing confirmed that it is ready to collaborate with investigators in identifying the true reasons of the accident. Boeing 737 is the most popular passenger jet, and there had been 169 crashes prior to this one.
The Russian airspace has been witness to different accidents in fact. The last major accident was in April 2012, when 31 people died following a passenger plane crash after taking off from Siberia. September 2011 also had a major crash when the Yak-42 Passenger Jet fell down at Yaroslavl, with 44 dead. The accident at Perm in 2008 killed 88 people when the plane exploded in the air.