AZERI AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING BAKU AIR CRASH

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BAKU, MARCH 4, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT/ -- Azeri authorities have started investigating the causes of the latest air crash at Baku's Bina airport. A Ukrainian Ilyushin Il-76 cargo jet serving with the Azov-Avia airline crashed today.

The Azeri Airlines main flight-safety and flight-supervision inspectorate is investigating the causes of this air crash, RIA-NOVOSTI learned at the Azeri Airlines press center.

Talking to reporters, Azeri Airlines president Dhzhahangir Askerov noted that the plane had crashed because of technical problems.

In his words, the Il-76-s 'black box' has already been removed and handed over to the Azeri representatives. Azerbaijan is also waiting for Ukrainian and Russian experts to arrive.

The Il-76 crashed, while flying from Ankara to Kabul. The plane, which landed for refuelling, crashed immediately on take-off. Eyewitnesses claim that the aircraft climbed to 50-60 meters, then started losing altitude all of sudden and ploughing into the ground some 3-4 km from the airport. Three crew members were killed and four more injured.

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