Moscow: At least 40 people are feared dead and 11 others injured after a massive fire broke out on a Russian passenger plane on Sunday.
Shortly after the take off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, the Russian-made Superjet-100, which was carrying 73 passengers, requested an emergency landing due to fire on board. “It attempted an emergency landing but did not succeed the first time, and on the second time the landing gear hit (the ground), then the nose did, and it caught fire,” a source told Interfax.
Russian television showed huge black columns of smoke towering over the plane. Other videos shared on social media showed the aircraft ablaze as it attempted to land, then passengers leaving by a forward door.
As per the latest information, 37 people have said to survive the incident.
According to an AFP report, investigators are looking into the matter and haven’t come up with any conclusion regarding the cause of the fire.
The plane was headed to Russia’s far northwest city of Murmansk. It returned to the Sheremetyevo airport after 27 minutes in the air, reported Russia Today.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the kins of the deceased.
In wake of the accident, many flights have been diverted to other Moscow airports or Nizhny Novgorod, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the Russian capital.
Notably, the Sukhoi Superjet-100, the first civilian aircraft developed in Russia’s post-Soviet era, was launched in 2011. It was a source of national pride, AFP noted.
However, the country has had a tough time convincing several foreign countries to buy the aircraft.