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The World

October 15, 1987

A Soviet airliner crashed in East Berlin last December because the crew did not understand instructions from air traffic controllers speaking English, the weekly Literary Gazette said. The crash of the Aeroflot TU-134 on Dec. 12 killed 72 people. The Moscow-based journal said the East German controllers ordered the pilot to touch down on a left-side runway because the right side was closed for tests. "The Tupolev did not understand. It headed for the right-hand strip. When the misunderstanding became clear, it was too late--the plane's shift to the other landing strip ended in catastrophe," the newspaper said.

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