101 people died in plane crash over Norilsk 40 years ago

101 people died in plane crash over Norilsk 40 years ago

September 07, 2021

The worst plane crash at the Norilsk airport happened on November 16, 1981.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. A Tu-154B plane crashed in Alykel (Norilsk airport), arriving on flight 3603 from the region’s capital – Krasnoyarsk. There were 172 people on board: students after the session, servicemen from vacation, construction teams, a team of Norilsk wrestlers returning from competitions…

Due to bad weather, the plane took off late, landed at 19.30, in the darkness of the polar night. During the landing approach, the elevators jammed, the plane did not reach the runway of several hundred meters. It hit the parapet before takeoff track.

To rescue the victims, the city hospital was alerted. About 80 people were brought there at once. To provide medical assistance to the injured, the so-called zero department was opened, where they brought the best equipment from other medical institutions of the city. They set up a real field hospital, the surgeons did not leave their desks, the operations were completed only by noon the next day.

Rumors flooded the city. Few knew the true cause of the disaster. But in every Norilsk family there were relatives or acquaintances who were injured or killed in the plane crash, and the scale of the tragedy could not be hidden.

Alykel was urgently closed, only a day later it began to receive planes again.

In the accident, 101 people died, the reason was the insufficient efficiency of the rudders at landing speed, the crew was found innocent.

In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we told that the arrival of Finnish builders in the 1970s made a revolution in the mentality of the Norilsk people.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

September 07, 2021

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