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Russian Plane Crashes Near Arctic

Plane Crash, generic story image, 020320, GD.
CBS
At least 29 people died in the crash of a Russian airliner in Russia's far north Wednesday, while 23 others survived, officials said.

Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, said there were 45 passengers and seven crew members aboard the An-24 airliner that crashed and caught fire while trying to land in the Nenets autonomous region off Russia's Arctic coast.

Russia's Transport Ministry had said that all 45 passengers and four crew members on board the An-24 two-engine aircraft died when it crashed and caught fire while trying to land in the Nenets autonomous region off Russia's Arctic coast. But Interfax quoted local emergency officials as saying there could be 23 survivors, some of whom contacted the authorities on a satellite phone.

Timur Khikmatov, a spokesman for Russia's Transport Ministry, said the plane was flying from the city of Ufa in southern Siberia.

The An-24 is a Soviet-designed turboprop airliner for short and medium lines which was built in the 1960s. Hundreds are still in service with airlines in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics.