Forty-one people including at least two children are believed to have died when a Russian passenger plane made an emergency landing and was engulfed in flames at Moscow’s busiest airport Sunday, investigators said.
Dramatic footage shared on social media showed Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, land at Sheremetyevo international airport, flames and black smoke 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.
“There were 78 people including crew members on board the plane,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement, adding it had headed to the northwest Russian city of Murmansk.
“According to the updated info which the investigation has as of now, 37 people survived.”
Another 11 people were injured, Dmitry Matveyev, the Moscow region’s health minister said earlier in the day. Three of them had been hospitalised but they were not in a serious condition, he added.
Investigators said they were looking into various lines of inquiry and it was premature to draw any conclusions about the cause of the accident.
The jet carrying 73 passengers and five crew members had just left Sheremetyevo when the crew issued a distress signal, officials said.
“Flight Su-1492 took off on schedule at 6:02 pm (15H02 GMT),” said a statement from the airport.