- Aeroflot Flight SU1492 burst into flames during an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday.
- Harrowing video of the landing quickly spread across the internet with footage showing the burning Sukhoi Superjet coming to a stop on the runway.
- A second video suggests that the plane may not have caught fire until the rough landing seemingly caused the main landing gear to collapse.
- There were 78 passengers and crew onboard the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 — of which 41 died.
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Aeroflot Flight SU1492 burst into flames during an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday.
Harrowing video of the landing quickly spread across the internet with footage showing the burning Sukhoi Superjet 100 coming to a stop on the runway. The first video shows flames and black smoke billowing from the plane but does not indicate what caused the plane to catch fire or how long it had been burning.
A second video soon emerged that suggests that the plane may not have caught fire until the aircraft bounced violently during the landing attempt, and seemingly caused the main landing gear to collapse. As a result, it’s possible the actual cause of the emergency landing may not be at all related to the fire that killed 41 of the 78 passengers and crew on board.
An official cause has not yet been established.
However, a commission chaired by Russian Transport Minister Evgeny Ditrich has launched an investigation into the incident.
According to the airline, Flight SU1492, en route from Moscow to the city of Murmansk in northwestern Russia, suffered "malfunctions on board the aircraft" shortly after takeoff. As a result, the crew declared an emergency and returned to the airport.
Later, the flight’s pilot Denis Yevdokimov told Russian media that the malfunction in question was a communications system failure brought on by lightning, AFP reported.
"The crew of the Aeroflot aircraft, which took off today from Moscow for Murmansk and was forced to return to Sheremetyevo airport due to technical reasons, did everything possible to save passengers," Aeroflot said in a statement. "The aircraft was evacuated in 55 seconds, compared to the industry norm of 90 seconds. The captain was the last to leave the burning aircraft."
Aeroflot also announced on Sunday that it is flying the victims’ relatives to Moscow for free.
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