Investigators say at least 40 people died after an Aeroflot commercial jet tried to make an emergency landing with the back end of the plane bursting into flames after touching down, according to The Associated Press.
Graphic video posted on social media shows the rear end of the Sukhoi SSJ-100 regional jet engulfed in flames as it taxis down a runway at Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia.
Update 7:00 p.m. EDT May 5: The number of those killed in a crash landing at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow Sunday has changed again, according to news reports.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said 41 people were killed and 37 survived when the Aeroflot commercial airliner made an emergency landing and burst into flames after a hard landing.
Later, the country’s health minister said 38 people survived, according to the AP, but did not give a number of dead.
Video of the fiery landing showed survivors jumping from the plane down inflatable chutes and running from the inferno.
Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, said in a statement that Flight SU1492 was heading to Murmansk when it was forced to return to Moscow because of a technical issue, according to USA Today. There is no word yet on what the technical issues were.
Russia has launched a criminal investigation into the cause of the crash.
Update 6:01 p.m. EDT May 5: Russia’s Investigative Committee said the death toll from the Sunday evening plane crash at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport jumped to 41 from an earlier number of 13 as authorities combed through the wreckage.
The fire erupted after the plane made a hard landing, according to Russian authorities.
Update 2:51 p.m. EDT May 5: The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said 13 people have died in the fire.
Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport said the jet caught fire when it made a hard emergency landing because of unspecified problems, according to The Associated Press. The airport said 73 passengers and five crew members were on board.
According to Russian state news agency Tass, a criminal investigation has been opened in the incident.
BBC News reported that passengers used emergency exit slides to escape.
According to TASS, there were 73 passengers on board. Aeroflot Flight SU1492 was bound for Murmansk, Russia, from Sheremetyevo, Russia, when it requested an emergency landing as a fire broke out.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said one person was confirmed dead and four were injured, the AP reported, but, according to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, six people were hospitalized.
It is not clear what events happened before and after the fire started, according to a brief statement from Aeroflot, the AP reported. The airline said it was forced to turn back due to technical problems.