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Russians Probe Plane Crash Site

December 20, 1995| Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — An airliner that disappeared nearly two weeks ago in Russia's Far East with 97 people on board smashed into a hill and broke into tiny pieces, Russian media said Tuesday, quoting rescue teams at the snowy mountain crash site.

Rescue workers found one of the plane's two flight recorders, which could help investigators determine why the plane apparently went into a sudden spin at 35,000 feet.

The wreckage was discovered Monday, 11 days after the Russian plane crashed, in a region northeast of the city of Khabarovsk. The plane was apparently almost vertical when it hit, the Itar-Tass news agency said. Experts said they had not ruled out the possibility of an explosion on board the jet. But they said that failure of the jet's equipment more likely caused the crash; the TU-154 had been in service for 19 years.

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