Death Toll in Aeroflot Crash Rises to At Least 40

By Paul Riegler on 5 May 2019
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Sheremetyevo Airport

Sheremetyevo Airport

The death toll in the crash of a Russian jetliner at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow is at least 40, officials said Monday morning.

The Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed Sunday evening burst into flames upon landing and bounced at least once, officials said. The pilots reportedly did not have time to jettison fuel before landing.

“Aeroflot confirms that flight SU1492 from Moscow to Murmansk suffered an engine fire upon landing after being forced to return to Sheremetyevo International Airport due to technical reasons,” the airline said in a statement.

Officials have released conflicting figures concerning the death toll. Elena Markovskaya, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said Monday morning that 41 people were killed, while the country’s health minister, Veronika Skvortsova, later said that 38 had survived, which would mean that the death toll had been 40.

Meanwhile, a list published by Aeroflot showed 33 survivors, although the airline said that the list was incomplete.

The airline said in a statement that the crew “did everything possible to save passengers,” adding that the plane was evacuated in 55 seconds and that the captain was the last to leave the burning aircraft.

The airline has cancelled at least 18 flights to Sheremetyevo due to the runway closure caused by the accident, and delayed a similar number of flights.

The aircraft’s manufacturer, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Aircraft, said that the plane involved in Sunday’s accident had undergone maintenance at the beginning of last month.  The Superjet 100 made its maiden flight in 2008 and went into commercial service in 2011.  Metal fatigue was discovered on the horizontal stabilizers of seven Superjet 100s in 2016 and all 150 built up to that time were inspected, although no additional occurrences of the problem were detected.

This was the second fatal accident involving the aircraft. In 2012, a demonstration flight struck Mount Salak in Indonesia, killing all 45 on board.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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