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Update: Four dead, four injured after plane overshoots runway in Moscow

At least eight, and possibly 12, people were on board when the Red Wings aircraft overshot the runway and then fell apart.

The Red Wings flight, seen on flight radar as it approached Vnukovo airport.
The Red Wings flight, seen on flight radar as it approached Vnukovo airport.
Image: FlightRadar24.com

Updated, 15:24

AT LEAST four people have been killed, and another four injured, after a plane overshot the runway and crashed on its arrival at Vnukovo airport Moscow and crashed into a busy motorway.

The Red Wings Airlines plane, which had been travelling from Pardubice in the Czech Republic, overshot the runway and then fell apart, Russia’s Emergency Ministry said.

Earlier reports had said there were 12 people on board, including eight passengers and four crew, but Russian news agencies now say the jet was carrying only eight crew members and no passengers.

“According to updated information, four people were killed and four more were injured,” an interior ministry official told RIA Novosti.

The health ministry said that two of the dead were wearing pilots’ uniforms.

The crash took place during high winds and a snowstorm in Moscow, but the cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

State television quoted reports saying that the pilot had been circling Vnukovo and had also looked into the possibility of landing at another airport, though amateur radar logging did not show the plane in any kind of holding pattern.

State television pictures showed the stricken white-and-red liner with both its nose and tail sections separated from the main body.

“The causes are not yet known. The plane broke apart into three pieces as it [overshot the runway]“, a Vnukovo airport spokeswoman said.

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A spokeswoman for the emergencies ministry said: “The Tu-204 overshot the landing strip. As a result, the plane partially fell apart and its right engine caught fire.”

Images posted on social media showed the nose of the plane on the highway, with only a tangle of wreckage linking it to the body of the plane which was slumped on the motorway embankment.

The incident risks causing travel chaos as Russians depart the capital in hordes for the country’s lengthy New Year holidays.

Additional reporting by AFP

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