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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Pure Chance' Spared Lives in Samara

Itar-TassInjured UTAir Flight 471 passenger Oleg Nosenko receiving treatment Monday at a district hospital in Samara.
Officials said Monday that the number of victims in Saturday's airplane crash in Samara could have been much higher if the Tu-134 jet had caught fire after impact, Interfax reported.

"Normally in crashes of this type, the number of dead is much higher. By pure chance, the plane didn't catch fire and the catastrophe did not lead to the sort of consequences that might have followed," said Yury Denisov, chief prosecutor of the Samara region.

Fifty-seven people, including 50 passengers and seven crew members, were on board UTAir Flight 471 when it crashed at Samara's Kurumoch Airport on Saturday morning.

The bodies of the six passengers who died were to be flown home Monday for burial, Interfax reported. Two bodies were to be flown to Belgorod and two to Surgut. Flight 471 was scheduled to make a stopover in Samara en route from Surgut to Belgorod.

A fifth body was sent by ground transportation to the Saratov region, and a sixth was to be buried in Samara.

As of Monday afternoon, 16 passengers and two crew members remained in a local hospital, Interfax reported.

n Relatives of some of the 170 people who died when a Pulkovo Airlines Tu-154 jet crashed near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine last year are seeking some $46 million in damages from the airline, reported Monday.

Igor Trunov, a lawyer who is ­representing the relatives, said the number of lawsuits against the airline could reach 60.