Russia plane crash: Jet explodes into FIREBALL at Moscow airport - 78 people of board

Passengers were seen fleeing from the stricken Sukhoi Superjet at Sheremetyevo airport. The Aeroflot plane made an emergency landing after a fire on board soon after takeoff from Moscow to the Arctic city of Murmansk. Flames were seen flaring from the rear of the Russian-built aircraft with a reported 78 on board.

There was initial confusion over casualties with one report that 10 died including a female flight attendant, but this was not confirmed.

Reuters is reported one fatality, although Russian news sources are suggesting "several" dead.

An early report said 36 had evacuated.

Later it was reported that all 78 had evacuated with six injured in hospital.

A female flight attendant had died while rescuing passengers, according to one account.

Passengers fleeing the plane believed there were fatalities, but the authorities initially denied this.

Another report said 26 were injured.

One witness said: “It is a miracle anyone has survived.”

The stricken plane was clearly visible from the main terminals at the airport in the north of Moscow.

The crash landing was on the aircraft’s second approach for an emergency landing.

A British Airways plane was on the tarmac.

The airport is closed for arrivals and departures.

A passenger called mikkentosh posted : “Guys I am all right, I am alive and in one piece.

“I managed to jump out.

“This was the 17.50 Moscow to Murmansk flight, see the rest in the news….

“Definitely not everyone managed to escape, huge condolences to families and friends.”

The plane is less than two years old.

Its first flight was reported to be in June 2017.

Criminal investigators are examining the cause of the crash.

There were reports that an electrical fault had caused the inferno after takeoff.

But other reports said the plane had suffered “communications problems” and the fire engulfed the Sukhoi as it returned to Moscow to land. 

Later there were reports that 12 people had died on the plane.

The crashed plane gave a distress signal before landing at Sheremetyevo, and the connection with it disappeared, a source in the airport services told Interfax.

“The plane gave a distress signal, then ir traffic control lost communication with it,” said a source.

“It was impossible to contact it.

“It was landing in complete silence.”

The chief pilot was named as Denis Evdokimov, the co-pilot - Maxim Kuznetsov.

Flight attendants were Tatiana Kasatkina, Maxim Moiseev, Ksenia Vogel.

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