Moscow, 15 August 2019 (dpa/MIA) – A Russian airliner crash-landed in a cornfield in the Moscow region shortly after take-off on Thursday after hitting a flock of seagulls, authorities said.
The collision caused both engines to malfunction, forcing the crew to conduct the emergency landing with the motor switched off and the wheels still retracted.
Twenty-three people were hospitalized because of the incident, which occurred about a kilometre from Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport. No one was killed.
“Thanks to the crew’s professionalism and their coordinated actions, the landing was conducted without tragic consequences,” the regional air carrier Ural Airlines said in a statement.
The passenger jet, an Airbus A-321, had been en route to the Crimean city of Simferopol with 233 people on board.
Images and video footage showed the aircraft after the landing, in the field flush with tall stalks of corn. Passengers were evacuated from the aircraft and made their way out of the field on foot.
Three months ago, more than 40 people were killed when a Russian airliner operated by the state company Aeroflot burst into flames during an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Investigators said the fuel tank of that aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet 100, had burst during the landing.