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40 Passengers, One Crew Member Killed Aboard Russian Flight

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

A fire broke out on a Russian plane Sunday, killing at least 41 people according to the country’s Investigative Committee.

The Russian Superjet 100, Aeroflot Flight SU1492, was flying from Moscow to Murmansk, Russia, when pilots called in an emergency after takeoff. The pilots then stopped responding and the plane returned to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, The New York Times reported.

Forty passengers and one crew member were killed out of the 78 people on the plane, according to reports from a Russian news agency.

The plane attempted to land twice, the Times reported. The plane bounced, skidded, scraped the engine across the ground and burst into flames as it landed on the second attempt.

Videos and pictures on Twitter show the flaming plane landing at the Moscow airport and passengers evacuating the plane on emergency slides. (RELATED: Russia Launches Deadly Doomsday Submarine)

“Right in front of our eyes, we saw an airplane on fire streaking down the runway,” Alena Osokina, who witnessed the event from inside the airport, said to Dozhd television.

“It was in the grips of flames,” she said. “Flames were devouring it every second.”

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Dozens of employees at the Superjet plant faked their engineering degrees, and this discovery caused alarm in 2008 over the safety of the newly designed Russian Sukhoi Superjet planes, according to the Times.

Other incidents raised concerns as well, including a 2012 Superjet plane crash wherein all aboard the plane were killed as well as a 2016 incident involving metal fatigue.

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