40 passengers die as Sukhoi aircraft makes emergency landing; Catches fire
About 40 of Sukhoi Superjet aircraft carrying 78 passengers died after it caught fire and was forced to make an emergency landing in Moscow on Sunday. The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed the deaths and added that the cause that led to the emergency landing and fire isn't clear. It quoted 'technical reason' that led to the fire. Investigations are on to know more about the incident and the experts are also looking into whether the pilots had breached air safety rules.
The craft, bearing the registration number RA-89098, was operated by Aeroflot. It took off from Sheremetyevo for Murmansk a little after 6 pm and within 45-minutes landed on the runway. The flight Flightradar24 tracking service showed that it made two circles around Moscow. The footage showed the plane bouncing several times along the runway as it landed with its tale ablaze on Russia's busiest airport. Within minutes a towering column of black smoke billowed from it, says a report.
The crew rushed to evacuate passengers as flames rose up the fuselage. The video also shows passengers scrambling out of the burning craft's emergency slides. Some passengers were also carrying children.
A representative of the Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport Committee Elena Markovskaya confirmed the death count. It may be noted that Russia has had a reputation of flying poor air safety flights, and crashes are relatively common.