41 People Dead After Plane Catches Fire At Moscow Airport
Russian authorities say 41 people have been killed when a Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash-landed at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.
"There were 78 people on board, including crew members," the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website late on Sunday.
"According to updated information, 37 out of them survived."
BREAKING: Panicked passengers rushing to evacuate a burning Aeroflot plane at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after the Sukhoi Superjet-100 made a mind-blowing fiery crash-landing from the second attempt. Injuries reported. Video Via @bazabazon pic.twitter.com/Fa5UAUEHop— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 5, 2019
Earlier on Sunday, the investigators said 13 people had been killed in the plane crash.
Television footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash bouncing along the tarmac at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport before the rear part of the plane suddenly bursts into flames on Sunday.
Survivors on board SU 1492 then escaped via the plane's emergency slides that inflated after the hard landing.
The plane, which had been flying from Moscow to the northern Russian city of Murmansk, had been carrying 73 passengers and five crew members, Russia's aviation watchdog said.
No official cause was yet been given for the incident although some surviving passengers spoke of a lightning strike.
Russia's Investigative Committee said it had opened an investigation and was looking into whether the pilots had breached air safety rules.
"We took off and then lightning struck the plane," the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily cited one surviving passenger, Pyotr Egorov, as saying.
"The plane turned back and there was a hard landing. We were so scared we almost lost consciousness. The plane jumped down the landing strip like a grasshopper and then caught fire on the ground."
State TV broadcast mobile phone footage shot by another passenger in which people could be heard screaming.
President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed their condolences and ordered investigators to establish what had happened.
The Interfax news agency cited an unnamed "informed source" as saying the evacuation of the plane had been delayed by some passengers insisting on collecting their hand luggage first.
Russian news agencies reported some passengers were still unaccounted for and that others had been injured, some of them seriously, and were being treated in local hospitals.
A rescue team was combing through the charred wreckage of the rear of the plane on Sunday evening looking for survivors, the Interfax news agency reported.
The Flightradar24 tracking service showed that the plane had circled twice over Moscow before making an emergency landing after just under 30 minutes in the air.
The plane's undercarriage gave way on impact and its engines caught fire.
Interfax cited a source as saying the plane had only succeeded making an emergency landing on the second attempt and that some of the aircraft's systems had then failed.
The emergency landing was so hard that debris had found its way into the engines, sparking a fire that swiftly engulfed the rear of the fuselage, the same source said.
Russian investigators said they were looking into various versions.
Russian news agencies reported the plane had been produced in 2017 and had been serviced as recently as April of this year.
Dozens of flights at Sheremetyevo were delayed because of the disaster.