9/11 in Russia: Terrorists hijack two jetliners. Crashes leave no survivors

Two passenger planes disappeared from radar screens simultaneously. Specialists believe it was a terrorist act

Fragments of the Tu-154 jetliner and the bodies of six passengers were found in the area of the Gluboky village in the Rostov region. Another crashed liner, Tu-134, was found in the area of the Buchalka settlement in the Tula region. Three bodies were found on the site of the crash. According to the Russian EMERCOM, all passengers and crew members were killed in the air crash.

Two jetliners Tu-154 and Tu-134 disappeared from radar screens on Tuesday, at 11 p.m. The two planes were lost with only one minute difference. Tu-134 disappeared in the Tula region, Tu-154 disappeared in the Rostov region. The planes were flying from the Moscow Domodedovo airport. Ninety-five people were killed in the air crashes.

The alarm on board the Tu-154 signaled that the plane was being hijacked, a governmental source told Interfax. The signal was received at 11:04 p.m. Moscow time, and the plane went off the radar screens. Echo of Moscow radio station reports, there is a reason to believe the two planes crashed as a result of a terrorist act. The planes departed from one and the same airport, they disappeared almost at one and the same time. RIA Novosti reported, a SOS signal had been received from one of the planes, there was no information about a hijack.

The Tu-134 plane flying from Moscow to Volgograd blew up in the air before it crashed down. Eyewitnesses of the tragedy said they heard an explosion on board the plane. The rear part of the plane and hull fragments were found yesterday.

Rainy and foggy weather complicated the quest for the Tu-154B plane of Siberia airline, which disappeared in the Rostov region. The jetliner was flying from Moscow to Sochi (the resort city on the Black Sea). The crash site was found at 8 a.m.

Two air crashes happening one after another in one country is a highly rare occurrence. The last time it happened on September 11 in the USA, when two hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center towers, one more crashed down on the Pentagon and the last one fell down in the deserted area.

Previous Tu-154 major crash: Photo gallery

Tu-154 passenger liners crashed 12 times over the recent ten years. Over 50 emergency situations happened with Tu-154 planes in Russia and CIS states since 1986. 

The administration of the Moscow Domodedovo airport is ready to accept and house the relatives of the killed passengers. “The conference hall of the airport will be used to house the relatives of the passengers, who died in the crashes of the two planes,” an official spokesperson for the airport told Interfax on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed about the tragedy immediately, the president's press secretary Aleksey Gromov told RIA Novosti. The president, Gromov said, ordered the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) to start the detailed investigation of the tragedy in the Tula and Rostov regions.

Tu-154 is the most popular plane in the majority of CIS states for internal and international flights. Specialists believe the plane will remain in wide use in Russia nationwide. Tu-154 performed its first flight in 1968, the commercial use of the liner started in 1984.

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Author`s name Olga Savka