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Signs of the Times for Mon, 10 Jul 2006

Wednesday July 4, 2001
The Guardian
A Russian airliner carrying 143 people crashed and burst into flames near the Siberian city of Irkutsk last night, Russian officials said.

The Tu-154 of Vladivostokavia airline's plan disappeared from radar screens about 9.10pm Moscow time, news reports said, adding that all the 133 passengers and 10 crew on board had apparently died.

The plane was en route from Yekaterinburg to Vladivostok, the main Russian port on the Pacific coast.

UK Guardian
Thursday October 4, 2001
A passenger jet flying from Israel to Siberia exploded in midair today before crashing into the Black sea coast off Russia, killing at least 76 people on board, officials said.

Senior US military sources in Washington said the crash may have been caused by a surface-to-air missile that was fired during a military training exercise in Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

However, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said: "It is possible that it is the result of a terrorist act".

Colonel Vyacheslav Sedov, of the Russian defence ministry, said he had heard reports about a stray missile hitting the plane. "We are checking this information," he said.

White House officials quickly contacted their counterparts in Moscow in an attempt to determine whether there was a connection between the explosion and the September 11 terrorist attacks or US plans to retaliate.

A spokesman for the airline, Sibir Airlines, said there had been 64 passengers and 12 crew members on board. All the passengers were Israelis, said Sergei Moslayov, a duty officer at Russia's emergency situations ministry.

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by Leonid Alkov
Sun Jul 9, 2006
Summary: At least 137 people died when a Russian Airbus plane veered off a runway, slammed into a concrete wall and burst into flames while landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

"Sixty-three people survived the crash... There were 200 people on board," a spokesman for the Irkutsk section of the emergency situations ministry told AFP. [...]

Among those on board the plane was the head of the FSB security service for the Irkutsk region, General Sergei Koryakov, officials said.

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By Richard Balmforth
July 10, 2006
MOSCOW - Russia's most wanted man, Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev, was killed during an overnight operation by special forces, the state security chief told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

FSB security agency chief Nikolai Patrushev said Basayev, who had claimed responsibility for the bloody 2004 Beslan school attack, had been planning an attack in southern Russia to disrupt the Group of Eight summit of world leaders Putin is hosting this weekend in St Petersburg.

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Associated Press
July 10, 2006
MULTAN, Pakistan - A passenger plane slammed into a wheat field and burst into flames minutes after takeoff Monday in eastern Pakistan. All 45 people on board were killed, officials said.

The Fokker F-27 twin-engine aircraft went down on the outskirts of the city of Multan minutes after taking off for Lahore, spiraling in the air before it hit the ground and bursting into flames, witnesses said.

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Sun Jul 9, 2006
SUCHES, Ga. - A small aircraft crashed into a house and burst into flames in north Georgia on Saturday and authorities believed three people were killed. Two were critically injured.

The single-engine Piper 32 crashed around 12:50 p.m., said Union County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Hromalik. The victims were aboard the plane and no one on the ground was injured.

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Associated Press
Sat Jul 8, 2006
SHIRLEY, N.Y. - A little past 8:30 p.m., as the blistering July sun melted in the west, a jumbo jet carrying students, honeymooners, businessmen and others to Paris exploded in a fireball, raining carnage into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island.

It had been only a dozen minutes since TWA Flight 800 took off from Kennedy Airport.

Initially, investigators were not sure whether the calamity that killed all 230 people aboard the flight on July 17, 1996, was caused by a bomb, a missile or mechanical failure. Just two days before the start of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, it was difficult not to suspect foul play.

People still question the official conclusion, reached in 2000, that TWA 800 was destroyed by an explosion in the Boeing 747's center fuel tank, likely caused by a spark from a wiring short-circuit.

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Associated Press
July 10, 2006
NEW YORK - A three-story building housing doctors' offices collapsed and burned Monday after what witnesses said was a thunderous explosion that rocked the neighborhood just off Madison Avenue.

Firefighters dug one person from the rubble about an hour after the blast, and two other people and a firefighter were taken to hospitals, Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, though White House press secretary Tony Snow said there was no indication of terrorism.

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