Passengers flee onto the wing after plane catches fire in Russia

The airline said the fire was ‘an ordinary situation’

Helen Coffey
Thursday 18 April 2019 11:02
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Video shows flames coming from plane engine as Boeing 737 catches fire in Russia

Three passengers fled onto the wing of an aircraft in Russia after they saw flames coming from the engine of the Boeing 737.

The trio of travellers claimed cabin crew did not give any instructions and ignored the panic of passengers who had seen the fire through the windows, according to local media.

The incident occurred when the Utair jet was taxiing on the tarmac at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, preparing to take off for Makhachkala in the south west of Russia, next to the Caspian Sea.

A video taken by one passenger shows the flames visible through the window.

A flight attendant can be heard over the tannoy saying: “For more details please refer to the safety card in front of you.”

Crew eventually persuaded the two men and a woman who opened the emergency exit and clambered onto the wing to return to the cabin, telling passengers the flames were “normal”.

“This was an ordinary situation, the plane was in order, passengers were in no danger,” a Utair spokesperson told Russia’s RBC news.

They said the flames were caused by disrupted air flow during the starting of the engine.

Despite its claim that the situation was “ordinary”, Utair transferred passengers onto another aircraft to resume the flight.

The three who had opened the emergency door were detained for questioning.

It follows a plane with hundreds of tourists on board making an emergency landing in Russia after one of its engines caught fire soon after takeoff.

All 202 passengers plus crew members were safely evacuated from the Red Wings Tu-204 at Ufa in the Ural mountains in August 2018.

Travellers on flight number 808 filmed the left-side engine as it sparked and was engulfed in flames.

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