A Boeing 737 airliner crashed on Sunday in the Russian city of Kazan, according to the Reuters news agency, killing all 50 people onboard. The incident highlighted the poor safety record of regional airlines that fly internal routes across the world's largest nation.
The son of the president of the oil-rich province of Tatarstan and the regional head of the FSB intelligence service were named among those killed when the plane slammed onto the runway and exploded into a ball of fire.
Pictures showed the wreckage scattered over a wide area. These were apparently taken after firefighters had extinguished the leaping flames. Russian television broadcast a blurred video showing a bright flash of light and a photo of the plane's gaping fuselage with firefighters in the foreground.
The Tatarstan airlines flight from Moscow had been trying to abort its landing in order to make a second approach when it crashed, killing all 44 passengers and six crew members, emergency officials said.
Flight U363 took off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport at 6:25 pm (1425 GMT) and crashed just over an hour later, emergency officials said. The leased plane was 23 years old.
There had been no technical problems reported with the plane prior to the flight and regular maintenance and troubleshooting between flights had been conducted, the news agency Interfax quoted the airline's press office as saying.
"The pilots, both born in 1966, had lots of experience," the agency quoted a spokeswoman.
According to local reports, the airliner lost altitude suddenly and its fuel tank exploded on impact.
There were high winds and above-zero temperatures over the airport in central Russia. Flights to and from the airport were halted until midday on Monday.
Kazan, which is 800 km (500 miles) east of Moscow, is the capital of the largely-Muslim, oil-rich region of Tatarstan. A new runway was built at the airport ahead of the World Student Games, held in the city earlier this year.