(AP) MOSCOW – Two Russian airliners carrying a total of more than 100 people crashed almost simultaneously south of Moscow, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Tuesday. There was no word on survivors.
The first plane was carrying 54 passengers and a crew of eight when it crashed in the Tula region near the village of Buchalki, the agency said, citing a duty officer at the regional center for civil defense and emergencies. The Tula region is about 110 miles south of Moscow.
The second plane was carrying 44 people when it crashed near Rostov, the agency said, citing an Inter-State Aviation Committee official. Rostov is about 600 miles south of Moscow.
Both planes were Tupolev Tu-154 jets, the standard medium-range airliner on domestic flights in Russia, other former Soviet states, Iran and parts of eastern Europe, according to the Web site Airliners.net.
In Washington, a senior U.S. State Department official said, “We are obviously concerned by the news. We’re following developments closely and trying to determine the facts.”