2 crew die in Siberia after plane skids off runway

International

A man walks past a burning An-24 plane a fire after a crash during a landing in Nizhneangarsk, Republic of Buryatia, Russia, Thursday, June 27, 2019. According to the Russian Emergency Ministry, the two dead were members of the cabin crew. Forty-six passengers have been rescued, the ministry said. (AP Photo/Vladimir Dozmorov)

MOSCOW (AP) — A small passenger plane skidded off a runway in eastern Siberia on Thursday, killing two crewmembers and injuring dozens of passengers.

The An-24 plane, carrying 43 passengers, experienced an engine failure and crash-landed in the town of Nizhneangarsk Thursday morning, Russia’s top investigation body, the Investigative Committee, said in a statement. The jet crashed into a building and caught fire. Footage from the scene showed the plane lying on its belly with the nose broken off.

Officials said that two crew members survived, while a pilot with 34 years of experience and a flight mechanic died on the spot. The Buryatia governor had previously said both pilots had died.

More than 30 people have been injured, and nine were taken to hospitals with severe burns and other injuries, said Alexei Fishev, spokesman for the local governor.

Investigators launched a probe into breach of safety procedures onboard An-24, which is a mainstay of the Russian aviation, and said that it was too early to identify the cause of the deadly crash-landing.

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This story has been corrected to say a pilot and a flight mechanic have died and not two pilots, following corrected information.

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