By John Waters
The Superjet 100 plane, which belongs to Russian National carrier Aeroflot, caught fire shortly after take –off. The crew immediately returned to the airport and made an emergency landing. Those who survived the fire escaped the plane using the evacuation slides.
There are differing reports of the incident. Some survivors reported that the plane was struck by lightning whilst Aeroflot says in a statement that the plane returned to the airport for technical reasons. The fire broke out in the plane’s engines upon landing. Normally the fuel tanks would have been emptied before an emergency landing but the crew decided that it was too dangerous to attempt this over Moscow city.
Russian Prime Minister, Dimitri Medvedev has set up an emergency committee to investigate the fire. The President, Vladimir Putin, has expressed his condolences to the families involved and the local region of Murmansk has declared 3 days of mourning.
This is the second fatal incident involving a Superjet 100. In 2012 45 people were killed when a plane crashed into the Indonesian mountain Salak. That crash was caused by pilot error.