Reports of the strike came as survivors told how they escaped the Aeroflot Plane. At the same time, which burst into flames on landing at Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday.
Notably, Aeroflot Plane is a Modern aircraft built to withstand lightning strikes. Whereas, the Russian National Carrier said that the plane returned to the airport for “technical reasons.”
Passengers and crew members on board said that the jet was forced to make an emergency landing. In that case, at a Moscow airport whereas, it was struck by lightning moments before it crashed.
Further, reports of the strike came as survivors told how they escaped the Aeroflot Plane.
41 of the 78 People on Board Aeroflot Plane Perished
Important to realize, investigators probing the cause of the crash made no official comment. Especially on the claims, it was hit by lightning. Further, modern aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes.
And where Russia’s national carrier said only that the Aeroflot plane returned to the airport for “technical reasons”.
However, passengers said the plane was struck just after take-off. Of which was heading for the northern Russian city of Murmansk.
Equally, pilot Denis Yevdokimov told TASS Russian News Agency that the lightning had interrupted communication with air traffic controllers and forced him to switch to emergency manual mode.
Dramatic video showed the plane making a very bumpy landing, bursting into flames after bouncing on the tarmac.
Two children and a flight attendant are among the dead. The acting governor of Murmansk, Andrey Chibis, said in a Facebook post that 26 of the victims were from his region.
What the Crew Members and Passengers Said
Mikhail Savchenko, a survivor, said he managed to escape by jumping out onto the emergency exit. Albeit the slides at the front of the Aeroflot jet while the rear was ablaze. A witness said the plane “jumped like a grasshopper.”
Passenger Dmitry Khlebushkin told reporters: “I’m alive only thanks to the stewardesses. The girls stood there in the smoke, it was dark and extremely hot.”
Aeroflot Plance Crash Aftermath Viral Video
Stewardess Tatyana Kasatkina said people were leaving their seats and heading for the exits. Generally speaking, while the plane was still traveling, Russian news site Lenta reports.
At the same time, she said passengers were screaming and phoning relatives as the plane burned.
“It all happened really fast, in a matter of seconds… I was pushing passengers out. I grabbed each one by the collar so that they wouldn’t delay the evacuation.” Footage of passengers running away from the burning plane has also gone viral online.
Eyewitness Patrick Horlacher told the BBC it was “shocking to see” the plane being ravaged by flames. In reality, just minutes before he was due to board another flight.
What Happened to the Plane?
The aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet-100, left the airport at 18:02 local time (15:02 GMT) on Sunday, bound for Murmansk. Its crew sent a distress signal when “malfunctions” occurred in bad weather shortly after take-off. The aircraft then attempted two emergency landings.
The jet hit the tarmac three times and smashed its rear undercarriage. Then again, debris got into an engine and set it ablaze, Interfax reported.
Aeroflot published a list of survivors (in Russian) who have been identified so far. Mr. Chibis has reportedly said that the families of those killed in the fire will each receive one million rubles ($15,300; £11,630). While the victims being treated in the hospital will be given 500,000 rubles ($7,650; £5,815).
Russia’s emergency ministry said there were no plans to ground its Superjet-100 aircraft. Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly been briefed and expressed condolences to the families of victims. The region of Murmansk has announced a three-day mourning period.
Can Lightning Bring Down a Plane?
Firstly, with millions of commercial flights taking place every year, lightning strikes are relatively common. Whereas, traditional planes, built using aluminum, are usually able to withstand such strikes. Above all, as the shell or “skin” of the aircraft acts as a cage. Uniquely, distributing the electricity without causing damage. And also, allowing them to continue their journey safely.
On one hand, the newer aircraft models are constructed using light materials. In addition, that has lower electrical conductivity. Such as carbon fiber, which needs to be protected – often using wire mesh or foil.
Additionally, the electronics and connections to an aircraft’s fuel tanks are heavily shielded. In general, to protect them from external electrical bursts.
On the other hand, lightning strikes can cause technical malfunctions. Again, causing planes to divert or make emergency landings for precautionary reasons.
But crashes following such incidents are rare. Passengers may hear loud bangs or experience the cabin lighting up with a bright flash.
The Sukhoi Superjet Fatal Crash
The only previous fatal crash of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 was during a demonstration flight in Indonesia in 2012. The plane hit a mountainside, killing all 45 onboard in a crash blamed on human error.
According to the Russian authorities, several factors contributed to the crash as they said. Such as the pilot’s error, a technical malfunction and or “adverse weather conditions.” Apparently referring to reports that lightning struck the plane after takeoff.
Emergency workers said on Monday they had removed 41 bodies from the scorched tail section of the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100, confirming Sunday’s fire at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport as Russia’s deadliest aviation accident in several years.
Grounding the Aeroflot Plane Carrier Services
The country’s transport minister has said there is no reason to ground the fleet of Sukhoi aircraft, which is the leading civilian passenger jet developed in Russia since the days of the Soviet Union.
The jet makes up one-fifth of the fleet at Aeroflot, the national carrier.
Regional carrier Yamal Airlines said on Monday it was canceling its planned purchase of 10 of the planes. Whereas, it also cited not only the high servicing costs but also the safety concerns.
Among the 41 killed, two of them were children. And, which was flying to the Arctic city of Murmansk when it released a distress call.
Again, fire engulfed the plane’s tail section during an emergency landing. After the aircraft struck the runway several times, igniting its fuel reserves.
Similarly, video taken from inside the plane showed panic as flames enveloped the right engine and the wing. Additionally, smoke began filling the cabin. See the accounts of the internal Distressing Video Here!
Tatyana Kasatkina, a flight attendant who forcibly evacuated passengers, told the Russian news website Baza: “You could see the fire [outside].
People were yelling that we’re burning but there was no fire inside of the plane […] I pushed the door open with my leg and grabbed the passengers so that they didn’t delay during the evacuation. I grabbed them by the collar.”
As can be seen through video footage, some passengers were seen carrying their luggage. Including large backpacks and rolling suitcases. For one thing, that they had apparently retrieved from overhead cabins.
The pictures raised questions in Russian media of whether the rush to retrieve hand luggage had put lives at risk. Especially by slowing the evacuation from the burning plane.
Investigators have said they would review the behavior of pilots and flight crew during the accident. But has not indicated that the evacuation was in any way mishandled.
“A bright flash and a clap,” the pilot Denis Yevdokimov said, describing the alleged lightning strike. The plane lost all communications and its electronic flight system failed, he said.
How Aeroflot Plane Jet Burst into Flames
Video of the landing showed the plane bouncing along the tarmac before bursting into flames. The tail section became consumed by fire.
Fire engines sped towards the blaze as some passengers fleed across the tarmac in tears. Some were carrying luggage they had apparently retrieved from overhead cabins. Reports have indicated most of those killed were in the tail section.
It took firefighters more than an hour to reach passengers in the tail section. “There were 78 people including crew aboard the airliner,” said a government spokeswoman. The latest tally showed 37 had survived.
Details of Aeroflot Plane Emergency Landing
According to the Flightradar24 tracking service, the plane circled twice over Moscow before making an emergency landing after just under 30 minutes in the air.
The Interfax news agency cited a source as saying the plane succeeded in making an emergency landing. As a matter of fact, on the second attempt and that some of the aircraft’s systems then failed. Aeroflot operates 50 Sukhoi Superjets in its fleet of 255 passenger aircraft.
Aeroflot Plane Reliability with Crash Concerns
There have been previous concerns over the plane’s reliability. In 2012 a Superjet crashed into a mountain in Indonesia during a sales demonstration flight, killing 37 people.
The model entered service in 2011 and was the first new passenger jet developed in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Russia’s investigative committee has opened a criminal inquiry into safety violations. In particular, leading to the death of two or more people. Of which is a common step after mass casualty events in Russia.
In spite of the accident, The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, offered his condolences. Especially to the families and friends affiliated to the victims. Stay tuned for more developing news updates coming your way soon!
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