MOSCOW--Officials: Bomb Did Not Bring Down Russian Plane : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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Monday, March 13, 2000

Officials: Bomb didn't bring down plane at Russian airport MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian investigators have ruled out bombing as the cause of a plane crash at Moscow's main airport, but have not excluded the possibility of sabotage, officials said Monday.

Investigators are also considering whether technical failure caused the Yak-40 jet to crash during takeoff from Moscow's Sheremetyevo-1 airport on Thursday.

The crash killed all nine people on board, including well-known Moscow investigative journalist Artyom Borovik and Ziya Bazhayev, president of the Oil Alliance company.

Relatives and colleagues of Borovik and Bazhayev speculated that the crash was not an accident. Borovik ran a media company that had exposed official corruption and other crime, and he had received threats in the past.

A Russian security official said last week that Bazhayev, a native of the breakaway republic of Chechnya, had been pressured by separatists to help finance their fight against Russian troops. But his relatives have denied he received threats from Chechen rebels.

Valery Morozov, the head of Prosecutor General's office in charge of transportation safety, said investigators had "completely ruled out" that the crash was caused by an explosive device, the Interfax news agency reported.

The plane lacked a cockpit voice recorder that could have shed light on the crash, and investigators were still busy deciphering the flight data recorder. They have questioned airport personnel who prepared the jet for the flight.

-- (, March 13, 2000

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