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Burning Russian passenger plane makes emergency landing

Burning Russian passenger plane makes emergency landing

Forty-one people were killed when a plane made an emergency landing and caught fire at Moscow's main airport on Sunday (local time), Russian investigators have said.

Interfax, quoting the head of the investiation committee, reports that 37 of the 78 people onboard survived.

Russia's Investigative Committee, the equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has confirmed death toll and said two children were among those killed.

Twitter videos show the plane returning to the runway with a huge plume of fire and smoke trailing from it as emergency services vehicles rushed to the scene.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the victims, and ordered a full investigation into the fire, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Interfax news agency.

Russian officials are keen for Aeroflot to buy more Sukhoi Superjets, a regional airliner, for domestic flights to support the country's fledgling civil aircraft industry. Five people have been hospitalized, according to Aeroflot airlines.

It was reported that the fire could be caused by lightening strike. Some news reports cited sources as saying the plane bounced several times during the landing.

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Passengers reportedly used exit slides to escape and run from the burning aircraft.

Russian investigators are now looking into the cause of the incident.

The Investigative Committee of Russia/Handout via REUTERS. All inbound flights were forced into holding patterns and some diverted to other Moscow airports. The plane's undercarriage collapsed as it ground to a halt on the tarmac.

Television footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet-100 making an emergency landing at the airport with much of the rear part of the plane engulfed in flames.

The plane, a year-old Sukhoi Superjet, departed from Sheremetyevo for Murmansk but shortly after taking off requested an emergency landing because of fire, according to Russian state media.

But it struggled to convince buyers from airlines outside Russian Federation, and several foreign carriers that did buy it have since preferred to cut back its use or phase it out completely, citing its reliability.


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