It has emerged that an adviser to the Russian president was among the 88 people who died when an Aeroflot plane crashed in Siberia. General Gennady Troshev had worked for both Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. Debris from the 16-year-old Aeroflot Boeing 737-500 covered part of Russiaâ€™s main East-West railway line, forcing it to be closed for a time. There were no survivors.
One woman who lives near the crash site, said: â€œI felt an explosion, it threw me out of bed. Then my daughter came running into the bedroom crying that war had broken out. Our neighbours saw it. They said it was on fire when it was still in the air. It looked like a comet and the whole sky was lit up like a firework display.â€
The airliner was on an internal flight from Moscow to Perm. Aeroflot said contact with the ground was lost at an altitude of 1100 metres as the plane was on its final descent. At least 18 foreigners were on board, including several from Azerbaijan and Ukraine, a French citizen, one from Germany, an Italian and an American. Initial investigations have revealed no immediate suggestion of either an attack or sabotage. Two black-box flight recorders from the Boeing have been recovered.