- City News “Moskva”/Handout via REUTERS
- A flight attendant died trying to help passengers escape the burning Aeroflot plane that was forced to make an emergency landing Sunday, Russian state media has reported.
- Maksim Moiseev tried to help passengers at the back of the plane, staying on board as passengers escaped, TASS reported.
- Photos of the plane’s wreckage show that the rear end of the plane was ravaged by the fire. It reportedly took firefighters an hour to reach that part of the plane.
- Forty-one people were killed after the plane, which was carrying 78 people, burst into flames after an emergency landing in Moscow, and other passengers credited the crew with saving their lives.
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An Aeroflot flight attendant died after he tried to open an emergency exit and help passengers escape the burning plane that made an emergency landing in a Moscow airport on Sunday, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.
A source told TASS that Maksim Moiseev was trying to help passengers seated at the back of the burning plane, staying on board as passengers were evacuated.
“He was trying to open the rear exit door to quickly evacuate the passengers from the tail that was ablaze,” the source told TASS. “He didn’t succeed and started helping people to leave the plane.”
Moiseev was 22 years old, according to a report from Sky News.
Authorities said they removed the bodies of 41 people, including two children, from the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, which caught fire after making an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on Sunday evening. The plane was carrying 78 passengers and crew members.
- Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS
Video footage showed the plane bouncing along the runway before bursting into flames. Images of the plane afterward showed the front of the plane to be largely intact, while the middle was burned out and the tail section was destroyed.
The UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported that it took firefighters an hour to reach passengers who were seated at the back of the plane, where Moiseev was said to be working.
Passengers have credited the actions of flight attendants with saving their lives.
Dmitry Khlebnikov, who was seated in the plane’s 10th row, told journalists that the flight attendants “saved him,” The Telegraph reported.
He said they “brought people out of there and helped them get down the slide.”
One flight attendant, Tatyana Kasatkina, said she grabbed passengers and pushed them down the emergency slide.
- Russian Investigative CommitteeTASS via Getty Images
“I kicked the door out with my leg and pushed out the passengers so as not to slow the evacuation,” Kasatkina, 34, said.
“Just to hurry them up I grabbed each of them by the collar from the back.”
Russia has launched a criminal investigation into the incident. The Associated Press has reported that Russian investigators are focusing at three possible reasons for the fire: pilot error, equipment failing, or adverse weather.
Yevgeny Ditrikh, Russia’s transport minister, said there were “no grounds” to suspend flying on the Russian-made Sukhoi planes, Reuters reported.