TYUMEN, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — The death toll after a UTair passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport in Siberia earlier this month has risen to 32, officials said on Thursday. Ten people who survived the accident remain hospitalized.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said a woman, identified as 58-year-old Lyudmila Volkova of Omsk, died at a hospital in the city of Tyumen on early Thursday morning. Volkova suffered a serious head injury as a result of the plane crash and had remained in an extremely critical condition until she passed away. She never regained consciousness.
The accident happened at around 7:33 a.m. local time on April 2 when UTair Aviation flight 120, an ATR-72 twin-engine turboprop aircraft, crashed in a snowy field about 3 kilometers (1.8 mile) from Roschino International Airport in Tyumen, the capital of the federal subject which carries the same name. The plane had taken off from the airport several minutes earlier.
A total of 31 people were killed at the scene of the crash, and Volkova’s death on Thursday raises the number of fatalities to 32. Ten people who survived the accident remain hospitalized in Tyumen, including five passengers who remain in a stable but critical condition. The others are in a stable condition.
The cause of the accident remains unknown, although a preliminary investigation by Russia’s Investigative Committee ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack. Officials said investigators were focusing on the possibility of a technical malfunction as an eyewitness reported seeing smoke coming from the engines as the aircraft came down. Another possible cause is a lack of proper de-icing.