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14 die in Moscow airport crash

The broken fuselage was visible in a ditch in a wooded area  

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Fourteen people have been killed after a Russian-built aircraft crashed on take-off from Moscow's biggest airport. Two people survived.

CNN's Jill Dougherty said the Ilyushin Il-86 was destroyed in the crash just outside Sheremetyevo-1 airport.

Four crew members and 12 flight attendants were on board the aircraft as it made what Russian officials describe as a "technical flight" and was carrying no passengers.

Vasily Nayuk, an official with the Emergency Situations Ministry, told The Associated Press that two air hostesses survived and were in a critical condition in hospital.

The Il-86: A Russian workhorse 

Witnesses said the aircraft had climbed steeply, then suddenly dropped into a grassy area outside a fence around the airport and burst into flames.

The broken fuselage was visible in a ditch in a wooded area of birch trees and bushes several hundred metres from one of the airport's runways, AP reported.

Smoke was rising from the smoldering wreckage as dozens of ambulances and fire trucks raced to the scene of the disaster, but a series of explosions rocked the fuselage and delayed rescue efforts.

The plane narrowly missed the Dmitrov highway northwest of the capital, which was busy with Muscovites returning to the city from their country homes at the end of a hot summer weekend, AP said.

The airport, which serves both domestic and international flights, was running normally with planes taking off and landing.

Firefighters extinguish the last flames surrounding the plane's wreckage  

The aircraft belonged to Pulkovo Airlines, based in Russia's second city St Petersburg, and crashed at 3:25 p.m.(1125 GMT), the Interfax news agency said.

The Il-86 is Russia's main long-distance airliner and can carry up to 350 passengers. It is regarded as the workhorse of the country's civilian aviation sector. (More)

The four-engined aircraft is comparable in size to the Airbus A300 and three-engined McDonnell Douglas DC-10, aviation experts told Reuters.

The incident came a day after 83 people died when a Russian-built warplane crashed at an air show in Lviv in Ukraine. (Full story)

Seventy-one people also died a month ago when a Tupolev Tu-154 carrying Russian children to a holiday in Spain collided over the Swiss-German border with a cargo plane.


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