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24 Jan, 2010 10:21

Russian pilot manages to land burning plane in Iran – no victims

A Soviet-made TU-154 passenger plane has caught fire while landing in the airport of Iranian city of Mashhad at 07:20 local time (03:50 GMT).

As Iran's civil aviation has informed, all 157 passengers and 13 crew members, including Russian chief pilot P.V. Prikhodko, survived the crash, though at least 46 people are reported injured. All the injured have been taken to the hospital of Mashhad.

The aircraft was seriously damaged while landing with its tail on fire: the undercarriage was destroyed, as well as one of the wings.

On Saturday the plane took off from Abadan airport in southwestern Iran, but due to bad weather conditions in Mashhad had to make a stop in Isfahan in central Iran.

Iranian air company Taban Air rented the vehicle from Russian company Kogalymavia (KOLAVIA).

After the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian air carriers have had constant problems with maintenance and spare parts. About a dozen Soviet-made Tupolev planes currently in service in Iran are considerably worn out.

Only half a year ago another TU-154 of Iranian Caspian Airlines crashed in northwest Iran, near the city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people onboard (153 passengers and 15 crew members).