Plane crash kills dozens in Russia
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/06/19, 11:17 am
At least 40 people died when a Russian airplane caught fire during an emergency landing Sunday evening. The Sukhoi Superjet 100, operated by national carrier Aeroflot, bounced off the runway and burst into flames at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. Video footage showed passengers escaping on emergency slides and running across the tarmac to safety.
The plane had 78 people on board, including five crew members. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said 38 people survived the crash. The plane, which was headed for the northern city of Murmansk, turned back for unspecified reasons, and its hard landing ignited a fire at the rear of the aircraft, the airport said in a statement. Pilot Denis Evdokimov told the local Zvezda TV and the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that “because of lightning, we had a loss of radio communication.”
The Superjet 100, manufactured by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, was first used in 2011 and has raised multiple safety concerns. In 2016, a Mexican airline grounded 11 Sukhoi jets over concerns about the plane’s tail stabilizer. In a 2012 demonstration flight in Indonesia, all 45 people on board died when the plane struck a mountain.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.