Russia’s Ural Airlines airliner carrying 226 passengers and 7 crew landed with its wheels up in the countryside near Moscow after suffering a birdstrike.
The Airbus A321 struck “numerous” seagulls or crows shortly after departing from Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport. The heavy-loaded jet had no time to dump fuel. However, it made a belly landing with no deployed undercarriages in a cornfield just 1km from the runway.
According to reports, moments before the bumpy touchdown, the malfunctioning engines were switched to avoid fire on board.
The Emergencies Ministry said that 74 people, including 19 children, required medical attention following the incident.
About one tonne of fuel leaked from the passenger jet, emergency services told TASS.
“The plane had 16 tonnes of fuel in its tanks. It had spent a tiny 500 liters. After the emergency landing a leak occurred. It has been eliminated by now. Up to one tonne of fuel may have leaked,” the TASS source said.
The emergency landing of the Airbus A321 became a demonstration of high professionalism by tha plane’s crew. In comparison, during the May 5 tragedy with a Russian Superjet-100 plane in Moscow, the much easier situation led to the deaths of a few dozens of people.