Air crash with Swede on board blamed partly on alcohol

Swedish rescue worker Jacob Vetterut was among those killed in crash in June

Relatives of the victims of a plane crash that occurred in Russia in June, close to the Finnish border, now have access to a report released by investigators this week. The navigator of the RusAir Tupolev Tu-134 flight from Moscow that crashed on a highway near Petrozavodsk airport had been drinking vodka, the investigators say. This was one of a number of factors that caused the crash.
The plane came down in thick fog and heavy rain, killing 47 of the 52 passengers and crew onboard. Local people pulled some of the survivors from the wreckage before it was engulfed in flames. Swedish rescue worker Jacob Vetterut was among the fatalities, as were a Dutch citizen, two Ukrainians and a family of four who had joint Russian-American citizenship. Eight people survived the crash including a 10-year-old boy and his 16-year-old sister, as well as a stewardess, but three later died in hospital. The privately owned, Moscow-based RusAir specialises in charter flights throughout Western Russia and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1994, this was its first fatal accident.
The investigators say that the navigator had consumed enough vodka to make him inattentive as he gave instructions to the pilot. He told the pilot to speed up the landing and the pilot obeyed without listening to the advice of the co-pilot. An investigation into another recent plane crash in Russia carrying a top-ranking ice hockey team, which also included a Swedish national, is continuing.
[pictured: Petrozavodsk Airport]


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