All 50 people on board a Tatarstan Airlines plane were killed Sunday when it crashed and caught fire while trying to land in the Russian city of Kazan. The Boeing 737 was apparently trying to make its second landing attempt when it exploded on impact. All 44 passengers and six crew members aboard the flight from Moscow were killed, reports the Associated Press.
Among those killed were the son of the president of the province of Tatarstan and the regional head of the FSB intelligence service, reports Reuters, which notes that the crash highlights “the poor safety record of regional airlines that ply internal routes across the world’s largest nation.” A December 2011 Wall Street Journal piece called Russia “the most dangerous country in which to board an airliner.”
The BBC notes that while some of Russia’s largest airlines have improved their reputation in recent years, “frequent crashes by smaller operators mean the country has one of the worst air safety records in the world.”