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Russia Mourns Victims of Plane Crashes

26 August 2004 -- Russia today is mourning the 89 victims killed in two plane crashes in the south of the country.

At one of the crash sites south of Moscow, the first relatives of the victims are arriving to help identify the dead.

The two airplanes went down minutes apart late on 24 August in different parts of the country after departing from the same airport in Moscow.

Yesterday, Russian Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov said he could not rule out a terrorist act or human and technical errors.

"We are considering a number of possible causes, including a terrorist act, a technical problem, and the human factor. I will not go through all of them now, but we are not ruling out any possibility today," Ustinov said.

A spokesman for the Federal Security Service said that initial investigations had turned up no evidence of terrorism.

Investigators have recovered all four blackboxes of the planes and are expected later today to make public the information recovered.