An Airbus A310 of Sibir Airlines - also known as S7 Airlines - has been destroyed with heavy loss of life after over-running the runway at Irkutsk Airport in Siberia.

At least 120 of the 192 passengers and eight crew are confirmed dead. About 10 escaped relatively unhurt and, although around 50 people are in hospital, the confirmed death toll is certain to rise.

The identity of the aircraft has been confirmed as a French-registered Airbus A310-300, believed to be owned by Airbus Financial Services.

Airbus itself says the aircraft is F-OGYP (s/n 442), which was built in June 1987 and, according to Flight’s ACAS database, has accumulated more than 59,000 hours in more than 12,000 flights. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4152 turbofans.

The aircraft was operating Sibir flight number 778 from Moscow Domodedovo when it landed at Irkutsk at about 07:50 in showery, overcast weather.

It is not confirmed which end of the airport’s single runway 12/30 was in use in the light winds, but the final location of the crashed aircraft appears to be near the terminal buildings at the western end of the airport. Russian television pictures are being carried by the BBC here.

At 2,765m (9,070ft), the runway is comfortably long enough for an A310 and it is unclear what caused it to go off the end.

Survivors’ accounts on Russian television indicate that there was no warning and that the aircraft may have briefly accelerated after touch-down. This is unconfirmed.

The aircraft finally left the runway and, according to official Russian sources, hit a concrete structure before bursting into flames.

Source: Flight International