Two die, 83 injured when Russian plane breaks up on landing

Two engines failed on a Russian passenger jet shortly after takeoff yesterday. The plane made an emergency landing as its third engine cut out, skidding off the snowy runway and breaking apart. Two people were killed and 83 injured.

The plane, a Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to Dagestan Airlines, was carrying at least 155 people when it landed at Moscow Domodedovo airport. The cause of the engine failure was unclear, officials said, but recent crashes involving the aging Tu-154 aircraft have prompted the Russian carrier Aeroflot to stop using it. The plane had taken off from another Moscow hub, Vnukovo airport, and was en route to Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. The engines had cut out about 50 miles into the flight at an altitude of 30,000ft.

Federal investigators said that two of the three engines had initially cut out, and the third failed as the plane was coming in to land. Vitaly Chumak, a passenger on the flight, said the plane broke into three parts after landing and barely missed a fence, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

A Tu-154 airliner carrying 72 passengers and nine crew suffered an electrical system failure in September while flying from the northern Siberian town of Polyarnyi to Moscow.