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4 killed in Moscow plane crash

Rescuers at the site of the crash in Vnukovo airport near Moscow. (AP)

Moscow, Dec. 29 (Reuters): A Russian airliner flying without passengers broke into pieces after it slid off the runway and crashed onto a highway outside Moscow upon landing today, killing four of the eight crew members on board and leaving smoking chunks of fuselage on the icy road.

Television footage showed the Tupolev Tu-204 jet with smoke billowing from the tail end and the cockpit broken clean off the front.

Some witnesses told state channel Rossiya-24 they saw a man thrown from the plane as it rammed into the barrier of the highway outside Vnukovo airport, just southwest of the capital. “The plane split into three pieces,” Yelena Krylova, chief spokeswoman for the airport, said. Police spokesman Gennady Bogachyov said: “The plane went off the runway, broke through the barrier and caught fire.”

 
 
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