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IN BRIEF: Air crash kills 16 on take-off

AT LEAST 16 people have died after a passenger plane carrying 43 people crashed in Siberia shortly after taking off.

The ATR-72, a French-Italian-made twin-engine turboprop, operated by UTair was flying from Tyumen to the oil town of Surgut with 39 passengers and four crew.

The aircraft went down outside Tyumen, a major regional centre in Siberia. The cause of the crash was not yet clear. Just 16 bodies have been recovered so far and 12 survivors were being flown to a hospital by helicopter.

Sailors rescued in yacht race

The US Coast Guard has rescued two injured sailors from a yacht that was hit by a monster wave while participating in an around-the-world race.

A rescue boat reached the battered yacht about 322km off the coast and transported the sailors to a Coast Guard cutter.

The two were being treated aboard the cutter and will receive additional medical aid when the vessel reaches San Francisco Bay.

The injured are a 50-year-old woman, who may have suffered broken ribs, and a 29-year-old man with a possible pelvic strain.

Runner dies at marathon finish

A man died after collapsing at the finishing line of the Reading Half Marathon, its organisers said.

The unnamed runner, aged in his late 30s, crossed the line at the Madejski Stadium and was immediately taken to hospital.

Doctors were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon.

A spokesman said: "This is deeply upsetting and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this distressing time."

Korea closer to rocket launch

New satellite imagery reveals North Korea has ramped up preparations for a rocket launch that the US and others call a cover for a long-range missile test.

An analysis provided by the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says the images show a mobile radar trailer.

The trailer is essential for the launch, scheduled to take place around April 12 to 16.