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Plane Crash Leads Russia to Retire Tupolevs


Emergency Ministry members work at the site of the Tupolev-134 plane crash outside the northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk, June 21, 2011

Emergency Ministry members work at the site of the Tupolev-134 plane crash outside the northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk, June 21, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday recommended the permanent grounding of all Soviet-built Tupolev passenger airplanes, like the one that crashed this week.

The plane crashed on a road in heavy fog moments before its scheduled landing at Petrozavodsk airport in northwest Russia, killing 44 people. A young boy later died of his injuries, increasing the death toll to 45.

Medvedev said the Tupolev-134 should be withdrawn from operation starting next year. The Tupolev-134 and Tupolev-154 were built in the 1960s.

Russian officials said this week that initial information indicated pilot error caused the crash.

The plane was carrying 52 people, including nine crew, when it veered off course while coming in to land, clipped some trees and hit a power line before crashing.

Officials have recovered the aircraft's flight data recorders. The plane was flying from Moscow's Domodedovo airport to Petrozavodsk, some 650 kilometers northwest of the capital.

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

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