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09:31 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Committee: Runway 'Not a Factor' in Fatal Moscow Plane Crash

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The fatal plane crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Saturday was not due to the condition of the runway, the Interstate Aviation Committee said on Monday.

MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti) – The fatal plane crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Saturday was not due to the condition of the runway, the Interstate Aviation Committee said on Monday.

According to a statement by the Interstate Aviation Committee released on Monday, the runway at Vnukovo, Moscow's third-busiest airport, was cleaned 1 hour 20 minutes before the crash, and the friction coefficient was checked again 15 minutes after the incident.

“It stood at 0.63, which satisfies the landing requirements for this kind of airplane,” the statement confirms.

The Tupolev Tu-204 medium-haul airliner overshot the runway while landing at Vnukovo airport on Saturday evening. It was arriving from the Czech Republic.

There were eight people on board the plane at the time of the crash, all of them were crewmembers.

The Interstate Aviation Committee is examining the flight recorders recovered from the wreckage.

The Moscow city transport prosecutor’s office has launched a criminal investigation into the airline’s compliance with aviation safety regulations. Pilot error, bad weather, and technical faults are all potential causes for the crash currently being considered.

Five people died in the crash, three others remain in hospital in a serious condition. All the victims have been identified.

The plane was owned by the Moscow-based Red Wings airline, which operates 8-10 Tu-204 planes, each with a capacity to carry up to 210 passengers.