A terrible tragedy occurred yesterday, November 17, at 7:25p.m. at the Kazan International Airport. Aircraft “Boeing 737-500” Airline “Tatarstan”, coming from Domodedovo to Kazan, and carrying out flight number 363, crashed during landing. The aircraft wing touched the runway and exploded, killing all on board, including 44 passengers and 6 crew members. The eldest son of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, Irek, was among those killed in the crash, as was the head of the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Antonov, according to a passenger list whose authenticity was confirmed by the regional government.
Decree of the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov declared November 18 a day of mourning in Tatarstan, cancelled all entertainment programs, state flags are flown at half mast. Identification of victims of the tragedy began this morning. The full list of victims of the accident posted on the official website of the Ministry of emergencies of the Republic of Tatarstan: http://mchs.tatarstan.ru/rus/index.htm/news/242295.htm. Telephone “hot line” Center for Emergency Psychological Aid 8-800-775-17-17 Russian Emergencies Ministry, Main Department of EMERCOM of Russia for the Republic of Tatarstan 8-843-227-46-50.
All the emergency services immediately went on the scene. By 8:00p.m. the fire has been localized, brigade ambulance remained at the Airport, they provide medical and psychological assistance to the families and friends of the victims. In addition, to provide psychological support to the scene were representatives of Orthodox and Muslim clergy. That same evening, Prime Minister Ildar Halikov and state councilor Mintimer Shaimiev arrived at the Airport, who held an emergency government meeting about the incident. In view of the ongoing search and rescue operations on the runway, according to the decree of the Prime Minister of the Kazan airport stopped receiving and sending flights to 12:00p.m. and arriving aircraft were directed to the nearest alternate airports – to Begishevo, Cheboksary and Izhevsk. Closer to 10:00p.m. search and rescue works have been completed, but the fire which started from the collision of aircraft with a strip completely managed to extinguish only by the morning. Conducted a search for “black boxes”.
At the same time, the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the grounds of crime under Part 3 of Art. 263 of the Criminal Code (“Violation of safety rules and operation of air transport, which caused the death of two or more persons”). Investigators seized documents at the office of “Tatarstan airlines” there is a check of activity of the enterprise. The head of the investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin took the investigation under his personal control, today morning he has arrived in Kazan. The head of the Federal Emergency Dmitry Puchkov also arrived in Kazan.
Investigators are considering several versions of the causes of the crash of a commercial airliner. Among them, and weather conditions, and pilot error, and even a terrorist attack. Questionable technical condition of the aircraft, which was in operation for more than 20 years, and fuel, which it is refueled.
According to the testimony of the authorities of “Tatarstan”, the plane was properly, pilots had more than 20 years of flight experience. According to the hydro-meteorologists, weather situation at the time of boarding was also favorable. However, according to the Manager Kirill Kornishin, directly at landing, the pilot announced “not landing configuration”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Tatarstan's President through telephone. Many prominent politicians, artists and art expressed their condolences to the leadership of the Republic and its people. Orthodox believers and Muslims in their prayers ask God for mercy to the victims of the plane crash, and for their relatives and friends ask for patience and perseverance.
Editorial islam-today.ru also joins sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.