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Azerbaijani Officials Say Instrument Failure Caused  Friday's Deadly Plane Crash


Officials investigating Friday's crash of an Azerbaijan Airlines plane shortly after take-off from Baku say instrument failure caused the accident that killed all 23 people on board.

The airline's deputy director,Ilham Amirov, told a news conference in the Azerbaijani capital that as the An-140 aircraft gained altitude, the crew lost use of instruments designating its position, making the plane impossible to fly.

A representative of the plane's Ukrainian manufacturer challenged the conclusion, saying back-up systems should have taken over in the event of instrument failure.

The plane went down in the Caspian Sea while en route to Kazakhstan.

Azerbaijan Airlines Monday grounded its remaining An-140 twin-engine turboprop. They also said plans to acquire two more of the planes will be put on hold.

Those killed include four citizens of Kazakhstan and others from Australia, Britain, Georgia and Turkey.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.