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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - MOSCOW — A Russian plane carrying 100 people crash-landed on its belly in the north of the country after experiencing problems with landing gear on Sunday, the company and officials said, adding no one was seriously hurt.
The Utair Boeing was buffeted by a sudden change in wind direction as it was landing at Usinsk airport in the northern Komi region, the airline said, and it was already on the tarmac when it suffered a malfunction.
Images online showed a Boeing sitting on its belly on the snow-covered tarmac as passengers scrambled to evacuate.
None of the 94 passengers or six crew members were badly injured, the airline said, adding however that one passenger sought medical assistance.
"Thanks to the crew's quick and highly-professional actions it was possible to keep the plane on the landing strip until it came to a full stop," Utair said.
It praised its "experienced" crew, saying the chief pilot has more than 6,900 hours of flight time.
A spokeswoman for the local branch of the emergencies ministry said that "the plane landed on its tail".
The passengers and crew evacuated via emergency slides, she said.
"What's happened at Usinsk airport today is unacceptable," head of the Komi region Sergei Gaplikov said in a statement.
"Thank God no one has been seriously hurt."
The country, with poor aircraft maintenance and lax safety standards, has one of the worst air safety records in the world, critics say. — AFP
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