5 foreigners on board crashed Russian Tu-154 airliner

12:23, 23 August 2006
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From Netherlands, Germany, France, and Finland

Five foreigners were on board a Russian airliner that crashed in Ukraine Tuesday, the airline that operated the plane said Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.

The Tu-154 jet came down in stormy weather Tuesday afternoon with the loss of at least 170 passengers, including 45 children under the age of 12, and crew.

Vasily Naletenko, the deputy head of Pulkovo Airlines public relations department, told journalists: "According to preliminary information, one citizen of the Netherlands, two from Germany, one from France and one from Finland were on board the plane."

The final list of passengers on the flight will be announced at a news conference to be held at Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg at about 15:30 Moscow time (11:30 GMT).

"Representatives of the countries whose citizens are thought to have been on board the plane have been informed," Naletenko said. "Consulates are also checking the information."

The airliner was flying from a Russian Black Sea resort of Anapa to St. Petersburg, Russia`s second largest city, when it came down 45 kilometers (28 miles) outside Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the emergencies services said the plane had sent a SOS signal at 15:37 Moscow time (11.37 GMT) and vanished from the screens two minutes later. St. Petersburg-based Pulkovo Airlines said the crew had sent four mayday signals before contact was lost, with the last one being at an altitude of 10,000 ft (3,000 meters).

Preliminary reports that emerged Tuesday evening suggested it had been struck by lightning.

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