Russia Plane Crash Injures Twenty-Three
A Russian passenger plane has made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after striking a flock of birds.
Health officials said twenty-three people were injured in the incident, which saw the plane land with its engines off and landing gear retracted.
The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 was travelling to Simferopol in Crimea when it hits the flock of gulls shortly after take-off, disrupting its engines.
State media has dubbed the landing the “miracle over Ramensk”.
The airline said the plane was significantly damaged and would not fly again. An official investigation is under-way.
The plane had 233 passengers and crew on board when the birds were reportedly sucked into its engines and the crew immediately decided to land.
An unnamed passenger told newsmen the plane started to shake violently after take-off.
He said “Five seconds later, the lights on the right side of the plane started flashing and there was a smell of burning. Then we landed and everyone ran away.
Report says, the plane landed in a cornfield about a kilometre (0.62 miles) from the runway at Zhukovsky International Airport, with its engines off and landing gear retracted
Passengers were evacuated from the plane, with some taken to hospital for treatment and others directed back to the airport.
The health ministry said five children were among those hospitalized following the crash. Those injured in the incident were “considered to be in serious or fair condition”, it said.
Ural Airlines Director General Kirill Skuratov told newsmen that passengers who wanted to continue with their trip would be put on alternative flights following medical examinations.
Russian media compared the incident to the US Airways flight that carried out an emergency landing on the Hudson River shortly after take-off in 2009.
Collisions between birds and planes are a common occurrence in aviation,
with thousands reported every year in the US alone.
However, they rarely result in accidents or cause damage to the aircraft.