An Aeroflot passenger jet carrying 73 passengers and five crew was forced to return to Sheremetyevo airport, where upon landing, the aircraft’s engine caught fire, engulfing the bulk of the exterior of the plane.
Footage of the Sukhoi Superjet-100’s landing, the fire, as well as the aircraft’s evacuation, was captured and shared across social media.
Local media in the country have reported that there have been at least 41 fatalities in the incident, along with five passengers with serious injuries who are being treated in a nearby hospital.
Departing Sheremetyevo airport at 18:02 local time, Aeroflot Flight SU1492 was originally scheduled to fly to the city of Murmansk. Roughly half an hour into the flight, the aircraft began to experience technical issues, at which point the flight crew turned the aeroplane around to return back to Sheremetyevo.
During the landing attempt, the aircraft bounced, at which point, the engine caught fire.
New footage of Aeroflot #SU1492 footage shows the Sukhoi Superjet 100 bounced on landing, with a second impact causing the landing gear to collapse + fire pic.twitter.com/2sP0MABan5— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) May 6, 2019
After coming to halt, emergency exit slides were deployed and passengers were evacuated as quickly as possible. However, images of the evacuation have surfaced showing passengers leaving the burning aircraft with their luggage in hand.
This has fuelled speculation and even backlash online that passengers who spent time retrieving their personal belongings, endangered fellow travellers and perhaps contributed to the deaths recorded from the incident.
An investigation by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is currently underway.