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At least 41 people killed in Aeroflot Crash in Moscow

Aeroflot plane crash burn in Moscow

At least 41 people on board Russia's Aeroflot flight SU1492 were killed, including two children, after the aircraft crash-landed at a Moscow airport on Sunday, bursting into flames on impact.

Passengers and crew on board a jet that was forced to make an emergency landing at a Moscow airport say it was struck by lightning moments before it crashed. Once the plane had come to a halt, passengers escaped using emergency slides from the plane's two forward doors, before running away from the burning aircraft.

Reports of the strike came as survivors told how they escaped the Aeroflot jet which burst into flames on landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Initial reports said the Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk, a Russian city in the Arctic circle, when an emergency on board forced it to turn back.

Modern aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes, and Russia's national carrier has said only that the plane returned to the airport for "technical reasons".

However passengers said the plane, which was heading for the northern Russian city of Murmansk, was struck just after take-off.

Some of the five crew members also said lightning appeared to be responsible for a loss of communication with air traffic control.

Passenger Dmitry Khlebushkin told reporters: "I'm alive only thanks to the stewardesses. The girls stood there in the smoke, it was dark, extremely hot, but they pulled people out and helped them get down the chutes".

Stewardess Tatyana Kasatkina said people were leaving their seats and heading for the exits while the plane was still travelling, Russian news site Lenta reports. She said passengers were screaming and phoning relatives as the plane burned.

The airline’s management has decided to fly relatives of passengers affected on flight SU1492 (Moscow-Murmansk) to Moscow without charge.

Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier and one of the oldest airlines in the world, currently flies 50 Sukhoi-built Superjets. The planes usually service short- and medium-haul destinations within Russia and abroad.





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