Govt. commission to meet families of Siberia air crash victims

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IRKUTSK, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - About 250 relatives of the 122 people killed in a Siberia airbus crash Sunday will gather in a city where the tragedy happened Monday to meet investigators from a government commission, the commission head said.

An Airbus 310-300, owned by Novosibirsk-based S7, formerly Sibir, was making a routine flight from Moscow to the city of Irkutsk, about 3,000 miles east of the capital and the home airport for popular tourist destination Lake Baikal. Preliminary reports suggest a fault with the brake hydraulic system might have caused the airliner to veer off the runway upon landing and burst into flames after hitting a concrete wall.

Transportation Minister Igor Levitin, the commission chairman, said 120 relatives had already arrived in Irkutsk, including 81 who had flown in from Moscow.

"By 4 p.m. local time (7 a.m. GMT) about 250 relatives will have gathered in the city, and we will meet with them," Levitin said, adding that the meeting would be held behind closed doors.

According to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, there were 204 people on board the airbus, including 193 passengers and eight crewmembers, and three more people were taken on board "off the list." Seventy people in the plane's tail section survived the crash.

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