A Russian passenger plane erupted in a big ball of flames and dark smoke after making an urgent situation landing at Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 41 citizens including a minimum of 2 infants. Dramatic video footage that went viral on social networking exposed Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft crash-landing and then speeding along the runway at Sheremetyevo multinational airport on Sunday, flames pouring from its fuselage.
Travelers could be seen leaping onto an inflatable slide at the front and running from the blazing plane as large dark columns of smoke billowed into the sky. Investigators declared 41 humans had died. “There were 78 people adding in crew participants on board the airplane,” which was bound for the northwestern city of Murmansk, Russia’s Investigative Committee declared in an announcement.”According to the updated info which the analysis has as of now, 37 people survived.” Eleven people were injured, Dmitry Matveyev, the Moscow region’s health minister declared previously in the day.
Witness Alyona Osokina declared she was inside the terminal when she unexpectedly saw a plane on burn rushing along the runway. “The blaze was devouring the plane,” she said to Rain TV. Osokina said that fire engines had arrived immediately but could not quickly put out the blaze. “This horror and tragedy happened before our eyes,” she said, adding that those who managed to flee the airplane then walked towards the airport terminal. “I believe they were in a state of deep shock.”
The jet — carrying 73 passengers and five crew members — left Sheremetyevo at 6:02 pm ( 1502 GMT ), and the crew released a distress signal shortly afterward, authorities declared. “After the take-off, the crew recorded an anomaly and chose to return to the departure airport. At 6:30 pm, the aircraft made an urgent situation landing,” the airport declared in an announcement.
Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship carrier, declared the plane had to come back to the airport “due to a technological reason” and its engines caught fire upon landing. Previous reports had declared the fire broke out in mid-air. The jet reportedly managed to land on its second attempt, hitting the ground with its landing gear 1st and then its nose.
Flight tracking site Flightradar24 showed the jet looping once in the air before landing. The plane’s fuel tanks were complete and a much bigger death toll could have been a real possibility, aviation experts declared. Researchers declared they were looking into several lines of inquiry and 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 and declared the investigation “should be as thorough as possible”, according to the Kremlin. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered a unique committee to investigate the disaster. The Murmansk region — where many of the casualties are believed to be from — will go into a three-day period of mourning starting Monday.
Some planes have been diverted to other Moscow airports or Nizhny Novgorod, some 400 kilometers ( 250 miles ) east of the Russian capital. Numerous Aeroflot flights are expected to be damaged in the coming days. The country’s aviation security report has been chequered and the recent disaster is seen as a big blow to its already struggling aviation industry. The Sukhoi Superjet-100 was the first civilian aircraft developed in the country’s post-Soviet era.
At the time of its release, in 2011, it was a source of country pride and seen as one of Putin’s pet projects. But various technical issues with the airplane have been recorded in recent years and Russia has struggled to convince foreign carriers to purchase it. The federal government offered subsidies to motivate Russian airlines to buy the Superjet and Aeroflot has become its major operator.