At least 41 people have died and 7 others hospitalized after a fiery plane crash at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday. 78 people were on board the flight at the time of the crash. Two children and a U.S. citizen were killed in the incident.
Showers and thunderstorms were reported across the area at the time of the incident, and some thunderstorms were occurring along the plane’s intended flight path to Murmansk. The jet was only in the air for 30 minutes before returning to the airport.
The plane was identified as a Sukhoi Superjet 100. This is the second plane crash involving the Superjet 100 since 2012. In 2012, this aircraft crashed in Indonesia during a promotional flight.
A video on twitter showed the moment that the aircraft caught on fire.
The plane’s two black boxes were recovered and Russian authorities are looking into causes for the deadly landing, ranging from pilot errors to equipment failure and inclement weather. Russia has also opened a criminal investigation into the crash.
Some passengers stated the plane was struck by lightning shortly after take-off. Additionally, crew members reported the loss of communication was due to the lightning strike.
Witnesses said the plane burst into flames after landing on the runway and continued to burn on the runway. Survivors were seen jumping out of the plane using the emergency gear and running away from the flaming plane.