Russian Plane Crash: Death Toll Climbs To 41

A Russian passenger plane erupted in a huge ball of fire and black smoke after making an emergency landing at Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 41 people including at least two children. 

Dramatic footage that went viral on social media showed Russian plane Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft crash-landing and then speeding along the runway at Sheremetyevo international airport, flames pouring from its fuselage.

Passengers could be seen leaping onto an inflatable slide at the front and running from the blazing plane as huge black columns of smoke billowed into the sky.

“Investigators said 41 people had died.”

Investigators said 41 people had died. “There were 78 people including crew members on board the plane,” which was bound for the northwestern city of Murmansk, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.

“According to the updated info which the investigation has as of now, 37 people survived.” Eleven people were injured, Dmitry Matveyev, the Moscow region’s health minister said earlier in the day.

“Russian Plane: Horror before our eyes”

One witness Alyona Osokina said she was inside the terminal when she suddenly saw a plane on fire rushing along the runway. “The blaze was devouring the plane.”

Osokina said that fire engines had arrived quickly but could not immediately put out the blaze. “This horror and tragedy happened before our eyes,” she said, adding that those who managed to flee the plane then walked towards the airport. “I believe they were in a state of deep shock.”

“After the take-off, the crew reported an anomaly and decided to come back to the departure airport. At 6:30 pm, the aircraft made an emergency landing.”

The jet left Sheremetyevo at 6:02 pm (1502 GMT), and the crew issued a distress signal shortly afterward, officials said. “After the take-off, the crew reported an anomaly and decided to come back to the departure airport. At 6:30 pm, the aircraft made an emergency landing,” the airport said in a statement.

“Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship carrier, said the plane had to return to the airport “due to a technical reason”

Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship carrier, said the plane had to return to the airport “due to a technical reason”. It said that its engines caught fire upon landing. Previous reports had said the fire broke out in mid-air. The jet reportedly managed to land on its second attempt. It hit the ground with its landing gear first and then its nose.

Flight tracking site Flightradar24 showed the jet looping once in the air before landing. The plane’s fuel tanks were full and a much bigger death toll could have been a real possibility, aviation experts said. Investigators said they were looking into various lines of inquiry. It was premature to draw any conclusions about the cause of the accident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the victims’ loved ones

Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the victims’ loved ones. He said the investigation “should be as thorough as possible”, according to the Kremlin.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered a special committee to investigate the disaster. The Murmansk region will go into a three-day period of mourning beginning Monday.

 

Faisal Rahat

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