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Fire “Superjet” in Sheremetyevo after a day: the victims, the version and the first consequences

Possible causes of the disaster, compensation to families and disputes over those who saved hand luggage.

Fire “Superjet” in Sheremetyevo after a day: the victims, the version and the first consequences
“Superjet” on the runway after a fire Photo Ministry of Emergency Situations

Basic versions – aircraft malfunction and pilot error

On May 5, the Aeroflot aircraft Sukhoi Superjet 100, which was traveling from Moscow to Murmansk, crashed in Sheremetyevo. The flight made an emergency landing only on the second attempt. During the re-landing, he hit the landing strip several times and caught fire. Initially, the media spread the “main” versions of what happened: a lightning strike to the engine, a fire due to a strike on the runway, and a fire due to electrical wiring.

Based on the story of the pilots, the words of eyewitnesses and media sources, as well as preliminary conclusions of the investigators, you can make an approximate sequence of the accident.

When the “Superjet” gained altitude, lightning struck it, which caused interference with radio communications. After that, the pilots began to return to Sheremetyevo: they did not drop the fuel and sat down with almost full tanks. The landing was unsuccessful due to the severity of the side – after several strikes on the lane, the landing gear was formed and the fuel tanks were damaged. Due to a leak on the strip, a strong fire started.

On May 6, the Investigative Committee named three versions of the incident under consideration: insufficient qualifications of pilots and dispatchers, technical malfunction and adverse weather conditions, in particular, a lightning strike.

Specialists of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) began deciphering two flight recorders. They will determine how the actions of the crew comply with the rules of flight operations. Investigators will conduct several examinations with the details of the burnt board.

The flights of the “Superjet” will not be suspended

  • Rosaviatsia explained that you should not “draw conclusions” about the reliability of the “Superjet” until a special commission has completed the investigation;
  • Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich said that while there is no reason to suspend flights of the Sukhoi Superjet 100;
  • Dmitry Medvedev ordered the creation of a commission to investigate the fire on the Aeroflot plane. Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that he is not yet ready to talk about the ban on flights of the Superjet;
  • An Interfax source in the industry added that in civil aviation, flights of certain types of aircraft are not suspended after a catastrophe. Such measures are taken after the investigation;
  • A source of Kommersant spoke in detail about the burnt-down Superjet. It was produced in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and transferred to Aeroflot in 2017. The flight made short flights and had a relatively small raid. Before that, the board had only one serious failure: in 2018, when landing, it did not release flaps, but everything ended without incident;
  • According to Mash, “Superjet” incidents occur more frequently and are not regulated due to lack of spare parts and costly repairs. On January 27, Aeroflot could not replace the aircraft because the rest of the vessels were under repair, on February 7, the pilots reported malfunctions seven times, and on April 25, two SSJ-100s urgently boarded due to a failure of air conditioning systems, according to the publication.

37 out of 78 people survived, mourning was declared in the Murmansk region

According to the latest data from the Investigative Committee, only 37 of the 78 people on board survived . As suggested by Kommersant, it was not possible to avoid a large number of victims because of the strong fire, which quickly spread to the 13th row of seats in the cabin. Despite the operational actions of the crew, many passengers did not have time to leave the cabin, could not walk on their own or were injured due to the strikes of the aircraft on the ground during landing.

The “Superjet” did not have an emergency exit on the wing – only two at the beginning and the tail of the cabin. Those who were in the rear were trapped: one of the flight attendants also died – he tried to open the last door and save the passengers.


Passenger Locations in Sukhoi Superjet 100 Infographics Life


A day later, Aeroflot published a full list of people who were on board. A total of 78 people: five crew members and 73 passengers, of whom four were minors. In the Murmansk region declared a three-day mourning – 26 victims were from there.

Aeroflot will pay compensation to all passengers: one million rubles to those who have not been hospitalized, two million rubles to those in the hospital, and five million rubles to the relatives of the victims. The Ministry of Transport also promised that insurance companies and regional authorities would give compensations, and Sberbank assured that it would settle debts on loans to all victims.

A complete list of the dead will be published later, as the bodies were burned and DNA expertise is required for identification. However, some of them have already begun to talk in the media and social networks: about the deceased 22-year-old American Jeremy Brooks (his death was confirmed at the embassy), the mother who escaped with her child, who was the first to leave her chair, and the surviving captain of the Murmansk team on “What? Where? When?”.

On board was also the head of the closed city of Severomorsk Vladimir Evmenkov – he managed to get out of the plane. On May 6, in a conversation with journalists from Sever FM radio station, he told the details of the disaster.

When the chassis was released and we touched the lane, we jumped up, then we went down again and jumped again, and the second time even higher than the first. Then the engine caught fire. I did not know what was happening at that moment in the cabin, I looked out the window. After the second strike, we jumped again, and when we jumped a third time, the landing gear apparently broke off, because we fell on its side, we turned and pulled along the runway.

The plane was going across and at that moment it became clearly felt that we were losing speed and was about to stop. I looked up from the porthole, looked and saw that people jumped up from their seats. I noticed that the family from the left row: a man, a woman and a child fell to the floor and moved along the floor. It became clear that running forward was like running through people, so all those who saw it just got up and waited for them to be evacuated. As soon as the passage opened, everyone began to exit.Vladimir Evmenkovhead of the closed city of Severomorsk

In social networks argued because of passengers who saved hand luggage and disturbed others

After the crash, several media sources reported that the timely evacuation of passengers was prevented by the fact that some of them, contrary to the instructions of the flight attendants, saved their own luggage. The video from Sheremetyevo really shows how people leaving the burning “Superjet” run with personal belongings and large bags.

On May 5 and 6, Twitter users noted the brave and faithful work of the conductors, but argued because of the behavior of the passengers. Including those who initially accused people of ignoring safety measures for the sake of personal belongings, also changed their minds.

Some users did not condemn the passengers, saying that they were in a stressful situation and acted instinctively.

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