Video footage shot from inside the Russian plane has emerged showing the moment the plane caught fire after it was forced to make an emergency landing.
In the footage, taken by a passenger in a window seat, flames engulf the plane’s wing as passengers on board can be heard screaming. Toward the end of the video, seatbelt signals begin sounding and passengers begin to shuffle around.
On Sunday, May 5, a Russian plane, Aeroflot SSJ100, was forced to turn around shortly after taking off from Moscow. With 73 passengers and five crew members, the plane was headed toward the northern city of Murmansk, when it had to make an emergency landing at the Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Some people blamed the bad weather for the plane’s crash.
Zvezda TV and Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted pilot Denis Evdokimov as saying, “Because of lightning, we had a loss of radio communication.”
State TV quoted flight attendant Tatiana Kasatnika as saying, “We took off, got into a cloud, there was strong hail, and at that moment there was a pop and some kind of flash, like electricity.”
Out of the 78 people on board, only 37 survived, while 41 died. People had just seconds to get off the burning plane, before the plane was engulfed in flames.
Russia’s investigative committee says it’s opening a case over “safety violations leading to the death of 2 or more people”—but adds the “investigation currently has information about 1 dead & 4 receiving medical help.” Covering all your bases in advance!? https://t.co/zg8d93xtbz pic.twitter.com/NWN1rRsYbj
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) May 5, 2019
One survivor criticized people who delayed others from getting off the plane by taking time to grab their carry-on luggage first.
“God is their judge,” Mikhail Savchenko said about the passengers that took time to grab their luggage instead of evacuating the burning plane.
He also posted video footage of the crash taken after he had reached safety.
“P.S. No, I didn’t drag my suitcases. No, I didn’t fly business. No, the moment I was filming, there were no people around me that I could help. But believe me, it’s not much easier,” he said.
He also thanked the crew of the Aeroflot plane, saying, “If it weren’t for them, there would be many more victims.”
Flight attendant Kasatnika told Lenta news agency that after the plane made an emergency landing, she began grabbing passengers and throwing them down the escape chutes to safety.
“People starting getting out of their seats and making for the exit while the jet was still traveling at high speed,” she told the news agency. “They were phoning relatives, screaming that the plane was burning and falling.”
“It all happened really fast, in a matter of seconds …,” she added. “I was pushing passengers out. I grabbed each one by the collar so that they wouldn’t delay the evacuation.”
“Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders. Flight Attendant Tatyana Kasatkina ‘grabbed passengers by the collar’ to evacuate people as quickly as possible. The crew were heroes & our union will honor their action through official recognition…” https://t.co/B2YZTBqTkn pic.twitter.com/Ci17Uyzs3W
— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) May 6, 2019
Interfax news agency cited an unnamed “informed source” as saying the evacuation of the plane had been delayed by some passengers insisting on getting their hand luggage first.
Television footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash bouncing along the tarmac at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport before the rear part of the plane suddenly burst into flames.
Many passengers on board SU 1492 then escaped via the plane’s emergency slides that inflated after the hard landing.
It is believed that the people who died were chocked by the smoke, according to TASS.
“Most of the passengers who failed to get out of the plane choked on combustion products,” a source told TASS.
While the official cause of death is still being investigated, the sourced added, “At this point, it looks like most of those on board died of poisoning.”
NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this article.