141 feared dead in Russian airliner crash

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The Independent Online
All 141 people on board were feared killed when a Russian airliner crashed into a mountain on the remote Arctic island of Spitzbergen yesterday. The plane was flying a relief group of Russian miners and their families who work in the Norwegian coal mining settlement there.

The crash, the worst in Norwegian aviation history, happened as the chartered Tupolev jet approached the island's only airport. The island governor's office said no survivors had been found and denied a claim from Moscow that five people had escaped from the wreckage. The accident occurred in bad weather six miles east of Longyearbyen. Air traffic officials said they had lost contact with the aircraft shortly before it was due to land. The miners were travelling to work in one of the island's three open- cast coal mines. Reuter - Oslo