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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Engine Failure Blamed for Jet Crash

Three of four engines on a giant military An-124 cargo jet failed just seconds after takeoff, sending the aircraft crashing into an apartment house in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, a government investigator said Wednesday.

Sixty-seven people have been confirmed killed, said Sergei Shoigu, the emergency situations minister and deputy chairman of the commission investigating the crash.

"The crash of the An-24 Ruslan was caused by a failure of three engines, but it is necessary to find out why it happened,'' he told reporters in Irkutsk, Itar-Tass reported.

"Two research institutes, two design offices and two factories are now engaged in finding out reasons why three engines failed,'' Shoigu said. "They are examining all angles, from control of the fuel-feeding supply to fuel quality.''

He said engine Nos. 1-3 failed three to 11 seconds after takeoff, sending the aircraft spiraling into an Irkutsk residential area and clipping a school and an orphanage before slamming into an apartment building.

The jets were due to be delivered in mid-December as part of a six-plane deal signed between the Vietnam and Russia's state-controlled arms exporter Rosvooruzheniye last year.

The plane was carrying two Su-27 jet fighters destined for Vietnam. Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has sent a message of deep sympathy to Moscow, extending "deep sympathy to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin over the heavy losses in lives and property," the official Vietnam News Agency said.