Forty-one people have died after a fire broke out on a Russian passenger plane after it made an emergency landing at a Moscow airport.
Officials said a criminal investigation had been launched into the incident, which saw an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet aircraft catch fire after it landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport in the north of the capital.
Russian state TV showed footage of the plane with black smoke rising above its tail, and video posted on social media showed much of the rear engulfed by flames as it sped down the runway.
One clip showed a number of people fleeing from the aircraft, a Sukhoi SSJ-100 regional jet, as an emergency vehicle approached.
Another broadcast by Russian news channel Rossiya-24 showed passengers leaping from the plane on to an inflatable slide from the front of the aircraft.
Aeroflot said the plane – which Russian Interfax news agency said had 73 passengers and five crew on board – was forced to turn back after taking off from Sheremetyevo, blaming “technical reasons”.
The victims included one member of the crew and at least two teenagers, according to Russia’s investigative committee.
The airline – Russia’s flagship carrier – said emergency medical care was being provided to the injured, with at least seven people reported to have been hurt.
The Russian health ministry said two of the injured were in a “serious condition”.
It added that an investigation had been opened to establish the cause of the fire, which forced the plane to land after less than half an hour in the air.
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