Russian plane fire: Pilot blames lightning for deadly crash landing

The pilot of the Russian air carrier, which burst into flames during an emergency landing in Moscow on Sunday, has told local media that plane crashed due to a lightning strike.

The fire after the plane’s crash landing killed 41 of the 78 people abroad.

The Aeroflot plane had taken off for Murmansk in stormy weather, but quickly turned back for an emergency landing. The plane made a hard landing and flames erupted. Russian media have quoted the pilot as saying the plane was without radio communications because of a lightning strike.

Pilot Denis Evdokimov was quoted as saying by Zvezda TV and the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that 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.

Russia’s transportation minister says 41 bodies have been recovered from the burned wreckage of an Aeroflot plane at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Minister Yevgeny Dietrich also told reporters in a Monday briefing that six people who survived the disaster Sunday night have been hospitalised.

The plane, a Sukhoi SSJ100, caught fire while making an emergency landing at the airport, after turning back on a flight to Murmansk for unspecified reasons.

Russia’s Investigative Committee says the flight recorders from the plane have been recovered and that investigators are looking into inexperienced pilots, equipment failure and bad weather as possible causes for the disaster.

(With inputs from AP)


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