Published: Wed, May 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Egypt sends condolences to Russian Federation over deadly plane accident

Egypt sends condolences to Russian Federation over deadly plane accident

It came down hard on the runway and flames and black smoke burst from its underside.

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 Russian Federation since the Soviet Union.

Russian news reports have stated the plane was serviced as recently as last month.

One passenger who survived the crash, Petr Egorov, was quoted by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily newspaper as saying that the flight "had just taken off and the aircraft was hit by lightning", adding: "The landing was rough - I nearly passed out from fear". As a result, the crew declared an emergency and returned to the airport.

Some of the 37 survivors were seen on video carrying hand luggage as they plunged down an inflatable slide from the plane's forward section, raising questions about whether grabbing their baggage might have impeded an evacuation in which every second could separate life from death.

An American citizen was among those killed, the U.S. State Department confirmed.

This image taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Sunday, May 5, 2019, shows the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines on fire, at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia.

Forty-one people died, nine more were taken to hospital.

"I'm alive only thanks to the stewardesses", passenger Dmitry Khlebushkin told reporters, according to the BBC. "The crew did everything in its power to save passenger lives and provide emergency assistance to those involved".

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Traditional planes, built using aluminium, are usually able to withstand such strikes as the shell or "skin" of the aircraft acts as a cage, distributing the electricity without causing damage and allowing them to continue their journey safely.

He has been accused of "blocking" others from escaping the burning aircraft when he evacuated with his bag, although it is not known whether his bag was in the overhead lockers or by his feet, where he may have been able to easily pick it up.

The plane departed Moscow airport at 18:03 local time (11:03 EDT) for the northern city of Murmansk.

Ms Kasatkina said "people starting getting out of their seats and making for the exit while the jet was still travelling at high speed".

Many in the industry view the plane as unreliable.

The crash-landing on Sunday is the latest serious setback for the plane, the first new passenger jet built in Russian Federation since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In 2012 a demonstration flight over Indonesia crashed in a remote, mountainous part of the country.

However Aeroflot also owns at least 50 Superjets which it operates on both domestic and worldwide routes and has pledged to buy 100 more.

Runway fire: Remains of the Superjet-100 are removed from the Sheremetyevo runway.

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