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Engine failure cited in deadly Russian jet crash

Sunday’s crash of a passenger jet in Perm, Russia was likely caused by engine failure, a Russian investigator said.

Flight 821 operated by an Aeroflot subsidiary carried 82 passengers and six crew members. Among those killed were citizens from the United States, France, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Latvia (MSNBC).

According to MSNBC, Pavel Shevchenko, a 36-year-old Perm resident who lives just 330 yards from the site of the crash, said he was awoken by an explosion and ran outside. He said debris was scattered around the area, along a section of tracks destroyed by the impact of the plane, but the heat from the flames kept him from getting closer.

The plane was attempting to land amid low cloud cover when it crashed into an unpopulated area of the city, just a few hundred yards from small homes and apartment buildings. The plane was at about 3,600 feet when it lost contact with ground dispatchers.

Russia and the other former Soviet republics have some the world's worst air traffic safety records, according to the International Air Transport Association(International Air Transport Association). Experts have blamed weak government controls, poor pilot training and a cost-cutting mentality among many carriers that affects safety (MSNBC).

Sunday's crash was the second involving a Boeing 737 in the former Soviet Union in the past month. A Boeing flying from the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan to Iran crashed shortly after takeoff Aug. 24, killing 64 of the 90 people on board (Yahoo! News).