Izvolsky cautioned against jumping to any conclusions.
“Now a commission is being created to investigate all the circumstances and reasons of the catastrophe,” Izvolsky said in a televised interview. “It is too early now to speak about the reasons. As soon as we discover the flight recorders we will be able to say what caused the catastrophe.”
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Although Russia has had a generally poor aviation safety record, the accident in Kazan was the first serious air crash in the country this year, after two years in which more than 150 people died in multiple passenger-plane crashes. Most crashes have involved Russian-built planes.
Boeing said it would help with the investigation. “Boeing’s thoughts are with those affected by the crash,” the company said in a statement on its website.
According to the online Aviation Safety Network, the plane was manufactured in 1989 and was purchased by Tatarstan Airlines in 2008. Before that, it had been used by five companies in France, Uganda, Brazil, Romania and Bulgaria.
Igor Varlamov, an ITAR-Tass correspondent in Brazil, told Rossiya-24 that the same plane belly-landed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in December 2001, causing serious damage but no casualties.
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