Disasters in the sky

Former Soviet republics have one of the world’s worst air traffic safety records.

At least 124 people died when an Airbus A-310 skidded off the runway in the Siberian
city of Irkutsk in 2006 [EPA]

Russia and other former Soviet republics have one of the world’s worst air traffic safety records, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Experts have blamed weak government controls, poor pilot training and a cost-cutting mentality among many carriers for the fatal accidents in recent years. Here is a list:

March 1997: Fifty passengers and crew die when the tail of their An-24 charter plane from Stavropol, Russia, breaks off mid-flight while flying to Trabzon, Turkey.

December 1997: A Tajikistan Tupolev-154 crashes into a river about 13km from the airport in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, killing 85 passengers and crew.

July 2001: A Tupolev-154 on a domestic flight from Yekaterinburg in western Russia to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Russia, crashes near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing all 143 on board. The aircraft was approaching Irkutsk, a scheduled refuelling stop, when it crashed.

October 2001: A Tupolev-154 from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Novosibirsk, Russia, explodes and plunges into the Black Sea, killing 78 people, most of them Israeli citizens. It was later determined that the plane was hit by a Ukrainian missile during military training exercises.

July 2002: A Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev-154 flying to Barcelona, Spain, from Ufa, Russia, collides with a cargo plane over Germany, killing 71, including 52 children.

January 2004: An Uzbekistan Airways Yak-42D on a domestic flight from Termez to Tashkent crashes in heavy fog during its final approach to the airport. All five crew members and 32 passengers were killed, including the senior United Nations representative in Uzbekistan.

August 2004: 90 people die when two Russian airliners are blown up, apparently by Chechen suicide bombers, within minutes of each other.

May 2006: An Airbus 320 of the Armenian airline Armavia crashes into the Black Sea while trying to land in the Russian resort city of Sochi in rough weather, killing all 113 people aboard.

July 2006: At least 124 people die when an Airbus A-310 from the Russian S7 company skids off the runway in the Siberian city of Irkutsk and bursts into flames after hitting a concrete building.

August 2006: A Tupolev Tu-154 of Russia’s Pulkovo Airlines with about 170 people aboard crashes in Ukraine as it travels from the Russian resort of Anapa to St Petersburg. All on board are killed.

March 2007: A UT Air Tupolev-134A touches down about 400m short of the runway at Samara in Russia before breaking up and catching fire. All seven crew members survived, but six of the 50 passengers were killed.

August 2008: A Boeing 737-500 carrying 90 people, including a Kyrgyz high-school sports team, crashes after reporting a technical problem following take-off near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, killing 65.

November 2009: Eleven crew members are killed when a Russian military cargo plane crashes on takeoff in the Siberian city of Mirny.

Source : News Agencies

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