41 people dead after an Aeroflot plane burst into flames during an emergency landing at a major Moscow airport

  • Forty-one people were killed when an Aeroflot passenger plane carrying 78 people was forced to make an emergency landing and burst into flames at a major Moscow airport Sunday evening.
  • The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed the death toll late Sunday evening.
  • Aeroflot said in a press release that Flight SU1492 en route to the northwestern city of Murmansk experienced an engine fire after returning to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for “technical reasons.”
  • It was not immediately clear what caused the Sukhoi Superjet’s engine to catch fire.
  • A criminal investigation into the incident has been launched.
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Forty-one people were killed after an Aeroflot passenger plane carrying 78 people burst into flames after making an emergency landing at a major Moscow airport Sunday evening.

The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed the death toll.

Aeroflot, the Russian state carrier, said that Flight SU1492 experienced an engine fire upon landing after returning to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for “technical reasons.”

Video footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet skidding across the runway before bursting into flames.

Five passengers were hospitalized after the incident, according to Aeroflot. Several flights out of Sheremetyevo were canceled through Monday.

It was not immediately clear what caused the engine to catch fire.

A criminal investigation into the incident has been launched.

The tracking service Flightradar24 said the flight took off about 6 p.m. local time toward the northwestern city of Murmansk. The flight then circled around Moscow before touching back down at a Sheremetyevo with a huge fireball trailing behind it.

Video on the Russian news channel Rossiya-24 showed passengers leaping from the plane onto an inflatable slide from the front of the aircraft and staggering across the tarmac and grass, according to the Associated Press.

Kristian Kostov, a former Bulgarian Eurovision contestant, tweeted that he was in a plane nearby the emergency landing and people were “screaming” and “shaking” at the sight of the plane engulfed in flames.

Videos posted to social media showed the fiery mass: