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Russia: Airport says landing started plane fire with 13 dead

Russia: Airport says landing started plane fire with 13 dead.

By JIM HEINTZ, MOSCOW (AP) — Thirteen people were killed Sunday in a fiery airplane accident at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee said.

The Sukhoi SSJ100 operated by national airline Aeroflot had 73 passengers and five crew members on board when it touched down and sped down a runway spewing huge flames and black smoke.

Video footage showed desperate passengers leaping out of the plane onto an inflatable evacuation slide and staggering across the airport’s tarmac and grass, some holding luggage.

Two children were among the passengers who died, the Investigative Committee said. At least six people were reported injured.

The airport said in a statement that the plane, which had taken off from Sheremetyevo Airport for the northern city of Murmansk, turned back for unspecified technical reasons and made a hard landing that started the fire.

Some news reports cited sources as saying the plane bounced several times during the landing

“Investigators soon will begin interviewing victims, eyewitnesses, airport staff and the airline carrier, as well as other persons responsible for the operation of the aircraft,” Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

The SSJ100, also known as the Superjet, is a two-engine regional jet put into service in 2011 with considerable fanfare as a signal that Russia’s troubled aerospace industry was on the rise.

Officials say one person died and at least four were injured after a plane belonging to Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot caught fire and made an emergency landing in Moscow. (May 5)
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The plane is largely used in Russia as a replacement for outdated Soviet-era aircraft, but also is used by airlines in other countries, including Armenia and Mexico.

This is the second fatal accident involving the plane. In 2012, a demonstration flight in Indonesia struck a mountain, killing all 45 aboard.

(This image taken from video provided by Instagram user @artempetrovich, shows the SSJ-100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines on fire during an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (@artempetrovich via AP)

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