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Two dead, 40 hurt in jet emergency landing

A photo taken on a cell phone by an eyewitness, showing the passenger jet after the emergency landing. Photo: PA

A photo taken on a cell phone by an eyewitness, showing the passenger jet after the emergency landing. Photo: PA

Two people were killed and around 40 injured when a passenger jet with 155 people on board skidded off the runway during an emergency landing at a Moscow airport yesterday, Russian officials said.

The plane, a Tu-154 belonging to Dagestan Airlines, was forced to land at Domodedovo Airport after its engines cut out, federal aviation agency spokesman Sergei Izvolsky said in televised comments. The cause of the engine failure was unclear, he added.

Mr Izvolsky said the plane had taken off from another Moscow hub, Vnukovo Airport, and was en route to Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s southern region of Dagestan.

He said the pilot received signals that all three engines had cut out about 80 km into the flight at an altitude of 9,100 metres, and requested an emergency landing at Domodedovo, to the south-east of Moscow.

The airport switched scheduled flights to a second runway, and normal service was not affected, officials said.

Flagship carrier Aeroflot recently withdrew all of its Tu-154s from service, after a series of crashes led to safety fears. But the Tupolev midrange jets, which originally entered service in the 1970s, remain the mainstay of smaller airlines across Russia and the former Soviet Union. It is banned from Europe due to excessive engine noise.

The plane which crashed in heavy fog earlier this year killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski was also a Tu-154.

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