Air stewardess threw jet inferno passengers to safety in Moscow plane fire

A brave air stewardess helped save 31 people from a blazing jet by grabbing them by their collars and flinging them onto escape chutes.

Quick-thinking Tatyana Kasatkina kicked a door open and hurled people bodily to safety after the airliner burst into flames on a runway.

It had crash-landed after encountering an emergency in a violent hailstorm, during which it may have been hit by lightning.

Another 41 people, two of them children, died when the plane operated by Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot came down at Moscow airport .

Among the dead was an air steward who stayed at his post at the rear of the jet trying to evacuate passengers.

Controversy broke out immediately amid claims that some passengers had blocked the exits of others by stopping to collect bags from overhead lockers – in defiance of strict rules.

One survivor was also fiercely criticised for complaining that the “heartless and unprofessional” airline had failed to refund his ticket after he had safely disembarked – as other people screamed and burned to death.

The plane had just taken off from Moscow for an internal flight to the Arctic Circle city of Murmansk when the pilot turned back.

The crew of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 had lost contact with air traffic controllers and decided to land with full tanks rather than dump fuel over Moscow.

Witnesses on the ground said it touched the tarmac, bounced up into the air and then “fell” back down, exploding as it did so. Hostess Tatyana, 34, who was at the front of the fuselage, said: “When the plane stopped, the evacuation immediately began.

“Everyone was shouting that we were on fire.

“I kicked the door out with my leg and pushed out the passengers so as not to slow the evacuation.

“To hurry them up I grabbed each of them by the collar from the back. It was all so quick. The smoke was already black. The last people were crawling to get out.”

Tatanya said there was a heavy hailstorm soon after take-off, adding: “There was a bright flash followed by popping. The flight deck informed us that we were returning to our home airport.”

The communications then malfunctioned and Tatyana could barely hear the pilot when he ordered her to prepare for an emergency landing.

Last night a huge investigation was under way as the identities of the dead began to emerge, with steward Maxim Moiseev confirmed among them.

Survivor Dmitry Khlebnikov thanked God and the rest of the four-strong crew, who all escaped, for saving him.

An American named as Jeremy Brooks was identified among the dead. Seven bodies were so badly burned they will have to be matched to relatives’ DNA.

Source: Read Full Article