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13 dead as Russian passenger plane bursts into flames

The wreckage of a Russian passenger plane is seen after an emergency landing at the Sheremetyevo Airport outside Moscow, Russia May 5, 2019. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

13 dead as Russian passenger plane bursts into flames

At least 13 people are dead after a Russian passenger plane catches fire mid-air, landing at Moscow's main international airport on Sunday.

13 dead as Russian passenger plane bursts into flames

The Russian Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk when a fire broke out on board. Aeroflot Flight SU1492 returned to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, making a hard landing, news agency Interfax reported.

Horrific video footage has captured the moment the Russian passenger plane exploded in a fireball during an emergency landing, reportedly killing 13 people.

Russia’s Ministry of Health said seven people were also injured as a result of the incident, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Terrified passengers were seen fleeing the Russian national carrier Aeroflot plane as flames flared from the rear of the aircraft with a reported 78 on board.

An airport official said that “many passengers delayed emergency evacuation – because against all instructions – they were picking up hand luggage from overhead compartments,” according to the Herald.

“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.

It reported that the tail was completely burned and said a rescue team was trying to find survivors in that part of the plane.

According to CBS News, emergency vehicles arrived at the airport to assist passengers moving away from the plane — with some holding luggage — and fight the flames, which were coming out of the airplane’s rear section. However it is still unclear what caused the fire.

Thorough investigation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly ordered a “thorough investigation,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

In one video, taken inside the aircraft recirculated on Twitter by Russian media, enormous flames can be seen through the passenger window as a chorus of loud screams ring out.

Aeroflot, the unofficial national airline of Russia, confirmed that the fire occurred but hasn’t commented yet on casualties. Initial indications suggest an electrical fault might have caused the fire while the plane was in the air.

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