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Authorities Investigate Cause of Azerbaijan Plane Crash


Authorities in Azerbaijan say technical failure was the probable cause of the crash of that Azerbaijani Airlines plane late Friday, but they are not dismissing the possibility of terrorism.

Airline deputy director Ilham Amirov said Saturday that investigators are looking into all possibilities in the crash of the twin-engine turboprop Antonov An-140 aircraft that killed all 23 people aboard. Officials say they expect to learn more once the plane's flight data recorders are found.

The plane went down just offshore in the Caspian Sea, near the town of Nardaran, shortly after taking off from the capital, Baku, on a flight to the Kazakhstan town of Aktau.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev visited the crash site today.

The plane carried a crew of five and 18 passengers, eight of whom are listed as foreigners - four citizens of Kazakhstan, and one each from Australia, Britain, Georgia and Turkey.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, and Reuters.

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