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Cargo Plane Crashes In Eastern Russia, 11 Dead

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A cargo aircraft crashed soon after taking off from the eastern Russian city of Mirny in Yakutia region, killing all 11 people on board, Russian prosecutors said.

The plane, an IL-76 belonging to the Interior Ministry, crashed about one kilometer from Mirny at the start of a flight to Irkutsk, the investigative committee of the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

Russia has one of the world's worst air safety records, with elderly Soviet-era planes, dated airport facilities, poor plane maintenance, and lax standards contributing to a grim crash toll.

Last year, all 88 passengers and crew aboard an Aeroflot Boeing aircraft died when the plane crashed in a ball of fire near the Ural mountains. In 2006, 170 people were killed when a TU-154 plane crashed in Ukraine on a flight to St. Petersburg.

An Interior Ministry press service official told the Russian television channel Vesti the plane rolled to the right immediately after takeoff.

"The plane flew no more than two kilometers at an altitude of 20 to 30 meters before crashing near an old mine," he said.