DUSHANBE, June 21, 2011, Asia-Plus – According to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, there are no Tajik nationals among those killed in a plane crash in northwest Russia.

Russian media outlets report forty-four people have been killed and eight injured in a plane crash in northwest Russia.  The aircraft attempted to land on a motorway about 1 kilometer from Petrozavodsk airport in the republic of Karelia, but crashed and caught fire.

The Tupolev Tu-134 operated by RusAir was carrying 43 passengers and nine crew.  Most of the survivors are said to be in critical condition in hospital.

The plane came down while flying from Moscow to Petrozavodsk.  It just missed houses built close to the motorway.  One source told the Interfax news agency that bodies were strewn over the road.

The lifenews.ru website published a full list of the passengers and the names of the survivors. There were reports that one of those killed was a Swedish national.

The emergency situation ministry said the survivors included a 10-year-old boy and a female flight attendant.

Radio contact with the pilot was lost at 2340 local time on Monday, the ministry said.

There was no immediate explanation for the crash, but Interfax quoted the airport''s director as saying there had been "unfavorable weather conditions", with the aircraft making its final descent in thick fog and heavy rain.

The BBC says some reports even suggested a power cut had extinguished the high-intensity landing lights on the runway, which are deployed at times of low visibility, moments before the crash.

The flight recorders have been recovered and a team of accident investigators has flown to the scene from Moscow.  Prosecutors say an investigation into possible violations of air transport rules is under way.

RusAir is a privately-owned, Moscow-based airline that specializes in charter flights in western Russia and Eastern Europe.

The twin-engined Tupolev Tu-134 is one of the work-horses of the Russian aviation industry.