A Russian passenger jet belonging to Ural Airlines crash landed in a cornfield shortly after takeoff after birds were ingested into the engines, causing both to fail. The pilot was lauded as a hero as everyone on board the aircraft survived.
Russians have said it was a miracle that no one was killed when the Ural Airlines Airbus 321 came down in a field southeast of Moscow with its landing gear up after hitting a passing flock of gulls, disrupting the plane’s engines. The plane was traveling from Moscow to Crimea’s Simferopol with 234 people on board, reported The Moscow Times.
“There was an emergency landing in Zhukovsky. Birds got into both engines. The engines turned off and the crew carried out the landing … one kilometer away from the runway,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Ural Airlines’ general director, Sergei Skuratov, as saying.
Up to 74 people, including 19 children, were treated for injuries, six of whom have been hospitalized, Russian news agencies quoted the emergencies ministry as saying.
Local residents are accusing an illegal landfill near the airfield as the source of the birds, something authorities are denying, but investigating.
Press secretary for the Zhukovsky Airport administration Yulia Soshkina and City Council Member Svetlana Bezlepkina assured Izvestia that there aren’t any unauthorized landfills near the airport that could attract birds. However, the media and local residents refute this information. At the same time, according to Izvestia, the ornithology group responsible for clear skies in the area of all airfields, was shut down six years ago, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
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