Moscow: Three people were killed and 44 others injured today after a Russian jet with 116 passengers and nine crew members on board burst into flames before take-off at a Siberian airport.
At least three people have died and 44 were injured after an ensuing explosion and fire of a Russian Tu-154M passenger jet that made an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Surgut due to an engine flaming out on takeoff, Russia's Emergencies Ministry said.
There were 116 passengers and nine crew members on board the plane from Kogalymavia Airlines which was to land at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, the Emergencies Ministry was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency Ria Novosti.
The Moscow bound aircraft's engine caught fire shortly after take off from the oil-rich Siberian city of Surgut.
The pilot decided to return and make an emergency landing following which most of the passengers were safely evacuated but due to leakage of jet fuel it exploded and caught fire.
A popular Russian pop music group, Na-Na, was among the passengers on the ill-fated airliner.
Members of the group smelt the burnt odor first, a Surgut internet-user wrote on one of the city's local forums several hours after the tragedy citing his friend who was among the passengers of the aircraft, the report said.
A high-level probe panel has been set up to investigate the accident.