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One dead, 18 injured as plane catches fire in Russia

By AFP | Published Sat, September 1st 2018 at 12:34, Updated September 1st 2018 at 12:38 GMT +3

One person died -- apparently of a heart attack -- and 18 people sought medical help when a plane skidded off a runway in Russia's Olympic city of Sochi, slid into a river and caught fire during landing early Saturday, officials said.

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The Boeing 737 flying from Moscow with 166 passengers and six crew members overshot a runway as it attempted to land in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, damaged a wing and caught fire.

"As a result of the crash landing at Sochi airport 18 sought medical help," regional health authorities said. The injured included three children, said investigators, who opened a criminal probe.

During the rescue operation an airport employee died, possibly of a heart attack, a spokeswoman for the Sochi Airport told AFP in a statement.

Sixteen ambulance crews worked at the scene, authorities said, adding that the fire had been put out.

The plane was operated by the Utair airline.

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Sochi hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

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