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Russian Passenger Jet Explodes; 3 Dead, 43 Injured

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials say the death toll from a plane that caught fire and then exploded on a runway at a Siberian airport has risen to three. The number of injured is at 43, including six who were badly burned.

Emergency services spokesman Vadim Grebennikov says the fire, which began in one of the engines as the plane taxied for takeoff, caused a powerful blast that destroyed the Tu-154 aircraft and spread flames across 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet).

Most of the passengers and crew were evacuated before the explosion Saturday.

Grebennikov says 10 people were seriously injured, including six who were badly burned and four who suffered broken bones or other trauma. Most of the other injured passengers sought treatment for poisoning after inhaling toxic fumes.

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