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Hijack alarm went off aboard missing Russian airliner: report

Channel News Asia | August 25 2004

MOSCOW : An alarm went off aboard a Russian airliner just before it went missing in southern Russia, signaling that the plane had been hijacked, a Russian official told the Interfax news agency Wednesday.

According to the source, the hijack alarm went off at 11:04 pm Tuesday (1904 GMT), as the Tupelov Tu-154 aircraft, which took off from Moscow, was flying over Millerovo near Rostov-on-Don, with the aircraft dropping off radar screens shortly after.

The airplane had 38 passengers and eight crew on board.

Almost simultaneously another Tupelov airliner, with 42 passengers and crew aboard, crashed in the Tula region some 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of Moscow, after also having taken off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport.