Russia plane crash kills two, injures dozens in Siberia

Plane skids off runway in Russia's Buryatia region before slamming into a building and catching fire.

    Officials say all the passengers were safely evacuated from the plane before it was destroyed by fire [Ministry of Emergency Situations for the Republic of Buryatia press service via AP]
    Officials say all the passengers were safely evacuated from the plane before it was destroyed by fire [Ministry of Emergency Situations for the Republic of Buryatia press service via AP]

    A small passenger plane has skidded off a runway in eastern Siberia, killing two crew members and injuring dozens of passengers.

    The An-24 plane carrying 48 people, including five crew members, experienced an engine failure and crash-landed in the town of Nizhneangarsk on Thursday morning, Russia's top investigation body, the Investigative Committee, said in a statement.

    The jet overshot the runway, slammed into a building and caught fire in the town on the northern shore of Lake Baikal. Footage from the scene showed the plane lying on its belly with the nose broken off.

    Officials said that a pilot with 34 years of experience and a flight mechanic died while the other crew members survived.

    The Buryatia governor had previously said both pilots had died.

    The aircraft had taken off from the regional capital of Ulan-Ude and flew to Nizhneangarsk, where it was forced to make an emergency landing when one of its engines failed, regional officials said.

    "All 43 passengers were promptly evacuated. There were no victims among the passengers," Angara Airlines said in a statement. The airline appeared only to be referring to deaths.

    More than 30 people have been injured, and nine were taken to hospitals with severe burns and other injuries, said Alexei Fishev, spokesman for the local governor.

    Investigators say they have launched a probe into what caused the crash of the An-24 which is a mainstay of Russian aviation.

    SOURCE: News agencies