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At least 120 Killed in Russian Airliner Crash in Siberia


A Russian passenger jet has crashed while landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing at least 120 of the 200 people on board.

The Sibir Airlines Airbus A-310 crashed this Sunday morning on a flight from Moscow. The passengers included a group of children traveling to nearby Lake Baikal, a popular tourist destination just north of the Mongolian border.

The airliner ran off the runway at Irkutsk airport and hit a concrete structure before catching fire. Emergency workers have recovered about 120 bodies from the wreckage and are searching for other passengers still missing and feared dead.

Officials say about 50 people were taken to hospitals suffering burns and other injuries. Eleven passengers refused to be hospitalized after climbing out of the burning plane. All eight crew members were killed.

Russia's Emergency Situations ministry says the landing gear of the plane may have caught fire as the plane landed.

Transport Minister Igor Levitin says the runway was wet from rain at the time of the crash. He is due to visit the site today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a government commission to investigate the crash.

Russian prosecutors have also opened a criminal inquiry into the incident.

Officials say the plane's flight information recorders have been recovered and sent to Moscow for examination.

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