No survivors from Tatarstan 737 crash

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Russia’s emergencies ministry has confirmed 50 fatalities from the accident at Kazan involving a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737-500.

It states that 44 passengers and six crew members – both pilots and four flight attendants – were killed in the 17 November crash of flight U9363, apparently all the occupants on board the twinjet.

“The circumstances are being investigated,” says the airline, for which Kazan is its home base.

It states that the crash occurred at 19:25, about 3h after sunset, which means the aircraft would have been approaching in darkness. Kazan airport’s weather data indicates light rain and snow, with reduced visibility, and moderate gusting winds.

Local media have reported that the aircraft performed at least one missed approach, but this has not been confirmed by investigating authorities.

While Russian authorities have yet to confirm the airframe involved, preliminary surveillance data indicates that the aircraft was registered VQ-BBN.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database indicates this airframe, a 23-year old example, is the only 737-500 in the airline’s fleet, and is leased from AWAS. Tatarstan Airlines states that the type is fitted with 117 seats.

Tatarstan Airlines was established in 1999 and operates to several Russian cities including Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, St Petersburg and Perm, as well as to a few destinations in Central Asia and Europe.

Kazan had two parallel runways – designated 11R/29L and 11L/29R – with precision approach capabilities available on both. But according to a NOTAM issued in July, runway 11L/29R was redesignated as the main taxiway, and 11R/29L was renamed as runway 11/29.

NOTAMs for Kazan issued after the accident stated that the airport was closed for “technical reasons”. The emergencies ministry says inbound flights were diverted to several alternate airports including Izhevsk and Nizhnekamsk.