- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2002

From combined dispatches
MOSCOW A Russian airliner carrying 16 crew members home from flight duty crashed into a woods shortly after takeoff from Moscow's biggest airport yesterday, killing 14 persons.
The Pulkovo Airlines Ilyushin Il-86, Russia's answer to the jumbo jet and capable of carrying 350 passengers, was setting off for its home base of St. Petersburg, empty but for the flight and cabin crews, when it suddenly plunged to earth.
It was the second disaster involving a Russian-built plane in two days and the third this month. On Saturday, 83 persons died when a Russian-built Sukhoi SU-27 jet fighter crashed at an air show in Lviv, Ukraine.
Although air-safety standards in the former Soviet Union have been under scrutiny for years, aerospace industry data indicated that this was the first fatal crash of an Il-86 since it entered service in 1980.
Officials said two survivors had been pulled from the smoking, charred wreckage of the four-engine aircraft.
"According to our information, two people survived the crash. One of them was seriously hurt and taken to hospital; the other was in shock and is also in hospital," Sergei Belyayev, general director of Sheremetyevo airport, told reporters.
Interfax news agency quoted emergency services sources as saying rescue workers had recovered the 14 bodies of those on board the plane.
Mr. Belyayev said the plane, which was returning to St. Petersburg after completing a routine flight to Moscow from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, came down about 700 yards from the airport.
Officials said the Il-86's black box flight recorders had been retrieved and were being examined.
The crash came a day after a Russian-built jet crashed into spectators at Lviv in Ukraine, in the world's worst air-show disaster.

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