Amid heavy fog, a passenger jet in Russia crashed onto a highway while trying to land at an airport some hundreds of yards away.
The crash occurred late Monday night, when a RusAir Tupolev-134 jet went down near Besovets Airport, outside Petrozavodsk, in northeastern Russia. Authorities are blaming the crash on a pilot error. Forty-four of the fifty-two people on board were killed. Seven passengers and one crew member survived the accident. Among the survivors were a mother and her two children, a 9 year old boy and a 14 year old girl.
Initial reports claimed that the plane clipped a power line during its descent, while the Itar-Tass news agency said that a power loss turned off runway lights at the airport for a few seconds. The power outage could have been caused by the jet cutting electrical wires, officials say.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by Russian authorities. According to sources, the black box recorder has been recovered.
The Soviet-era plane belongs to the same family as the Tu-154 which crashed last April, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. Despite the plane's age, officials so far do not think the plane malfunctioned. In January, a Tu-154 caught fire and exploded on a runway in Western Siberia.
Video posted on a Russian news site shows the overturned plane and a cell phone recording that captured some of the event.