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Plane Crash In Russia's Tatarstan Kills 50

Ambulances are seen at the Kazan airport following a Boeing 737 plane crash on November 17.
Russia's Ministry for Emergency Situations says 50 people have been killed in a crash at the airport in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region.

Tatarstan's Deputy Prime Minister Yury Kamaltynov confirmed that one of those killed in the plane crash was Irek Minnikhanov, the son of the republic's president, Rustam Minnikhanov, and also Aleksandr Antonov, the head of the Federal Security Service department in Tatarstan.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius said the Boeing 737 plane broke up as it was landing.

The plane had departed Moscow's Domodedyevo Airport earlier on November 17 with 44 passengers and six crew members aboard.

"According to preliminary information, there were no children among the passengers," Rossius said.

"As we already said, according to preliminary information, unfortunately no one aboard the Boeing plane survived."

Officials at the Kazan airport confirmed finding 50 bodies at the site of the crash.

Reports said the plane was making a second attempt at landing when it hit the ground and burst into flames. Firefighters rushed to the scene and put the flames out.

The plane belonged to Tatarstan Airline company.

The airport at Kazan has been closed and is not expected to reopen until late tonight at the earliest.

The Boeing 737, registration No. VQBBN, that crashed on November 17 is shown during takeoff in Kazan in September 2011.
The Boeing 737, registration No. VQBBN, that crashed on November 17 is shown during takeoff in Kazan in September 2011.
The Ministry for Emergency Situations and Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee have sent investigators to the scene of the crash.

Officials were cautioning against speculating about the cause of the crash until the plane's black box is found.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to set up a commission for an urgent investigation of the accident.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian president "expressed heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of those who died in the horrendous air accident."

The chairman of Russia's Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, is expected to arrive in Kazan on November 18 to participate in the investigation of the crash.

With reporting by Rossia 24, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax