Russian planes grounded after runway fire

Jan. 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

SURGUT, Russia, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Russia grounded all Tu-154B passenger jets Sunday, a day after one plane's engine exploded on a runway, officials said.

The engine caught fire as the plane was taxiing and then exploded Saturday afternoon at the Surgut airport in Siberia, RIA Novosti reported. Most of the 116 passengers and crew escaped before the explosion, but three were killed and 43 injured.

The Federal Transport Overseeing Service, Rostransnadzor, ordered the suspension of Tu-154B flights until the cause of the accident is determined and remedied, but there are only 14 such panes currently in use in Russia.

An insurance company and the local government pledged compensation to the survivors and victims' families.

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