Source Pravda.Ru

Police opens investigation into jet crash at Moscow Vnukovo Airport

Russian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation Wednesday into the crash of a corporate jet at a Moscow airport that reportedly left two of the plane's three crew members in a coma.

Plane overturns in Moscow - photo report

The Challenger 850 crashed on Tuesday after one of its two engines caught fire as it took off in a snowstorm from Vnukovo Airport on a flight to Berlin. The plane was owned by a U.S.-based company, Wells Fargo Bank Nord West Trustee, of Salt Lake City, the Transport Ministry said.

The Prosecutor General's office said a criminal investigation had been opened into the crash - a routine practice in Russia after major transportation accidents. Russian news agencies said investigators had yet to recover the plane's "black box" flight recorders.

Two of the plane's three crew members were in a coma Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported. The third had been reported on Tuesday to have been hospitalized with bruises and burns.

There were conflicting reports about the crew members' nationalities. The Prosecutor General's office said the crew comprised one American and two Russians, but the Transport Ministry said the plane's two pilots were Americans and the flight attendant was Russian.

Russian TV broadcast footage Tuesday showing the overturned plane in the snow with its landing gear pointing upward.

Moscow was enveloped in blowing snow Tuesday, and Vnukovo officials said visibility was about 1,200 meters (3,950 feet) at the time of the crash.

The Challenger 850 is made by Canada-based Bombardier.

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