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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Extends Grounding of An-124s




The Russian air force has prolonged the grounding of its Antonov An-124 cargo planes imposed after a fatal crash Dec. 6 in Siberia, a senior air force transport officer said on Tuesday.


"We need more time to check all the systems of all An-124s," said the officer, who did not wish to be identified.


Officials had earlier said the grounding order, which does not affect the 20 civilian An-124s in operation, would be lifted following completion of an inquiry into the crash.


Last week, air force chief Anatoly Kornukov said the investigation commission had concluded that the military An-124 crashed on takeoff in the Siberian city of Irkutsk because of a malfunction in its Ukrainian-made D-18T engines. The engine maker has strongly disputed that conclusion, however, and demanded a deeper inquiry.


The four-engine jet crashed into an apartment block, killing more than 80 people on the ground and on board.