Fifty passengers and crew died yesterday when a Stavropol Airlines plane crashed 37 minutes after taking off from Stavropol in southern Russia on a flight to Turkey. (NTV, March 18) The cause of the crash is not yet known, but experts are discounting the possibility of terrorism. They consider it more likely that the plane had been too long in operation without adequate overhaul. According to the CIS International Aviation Committee, this is the first major airline crash to have occurred in the CIS this year. In 1996, 219 people died in 14 crashes in Russian air transport. (Interfax, March 18)
Yeltsin Appoints Livshits to Presidential Staff.