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Russian Plane Crashes, Another Missing As Probe Ordered

President Putin has ordered an investigation and tightened security at Russian airports 25 August 2004 -- Dozens of people were killed when a Russian airliner crashed south of Moscow, while another passenger aircraft has gone missing in southern Russia.

Officials say the planes, which were together carrying more than 80 people, were reported missing at about the same time late yesterday. Both took off from Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the FSB security service to investigate the incidents immediately, and Russian authorities are reported to have ordered increased security at the country's airports.

Officials said one of the planes, a Tu-134 carrying 34 passengers and eight crew members, crashed in the Tula region, about 180 kilometers south of Moscow. Russian news agencies cited witnesses as saying they saw an explosion on board before the plane crashed. This has not been confirmed.

The second aircraft, a Tu-154 carrying 44 people, was reported missing near Rostov-na-Donu in southern Russia. This plane was reported traveling to the Black Sea resort of Sochi.


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