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Russian Authorities Haven't Ruled Out Possibility of Terrorism in Plane Crash

Aired October 4, 2001 - 08:34   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Following a breaking story this morning, Russian authorities are not ruling out the possibility of terrorism in the wake of the crash of a Tiplov (ph) 154 airliner, Siberian airliner, Air Siberia, which was outbound from Tel Aviv, Israel on its way to Novosibirsk, Siberia. The crash occurred at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time into the Black Sea, near the Russian coastal town of Adler (ph). The crew and passenger count somewhat in dispute. At least 64 passengers and 11 crew members. We are told that all of the passengers were Israeli citizens. Of course many citizens of the former Soviet Union have in fact resettled in Israel in recent years.

This was a weekly charter flight. You are looking at the image of the type of plane. The Tipolov 1:54 is a medium-range airliner, with a range of about 1,870 miles, not unlike the Boeing 727.

There are search-and-rescue aircraft over the Black Sea right now, attempting to locate any remains of that aircraft. Once again to underscore the point that the Russian authorities have not ruled out the possibility of a terrorism act in all of this. There is a report on some of our wire services that a nearby aircraft saw a mid-air explosion prior to this crash.

We're keeping up to date on this, and we'll give you the latest details as soon as we get them.

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