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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Passengers injured as Boeing 737 plane skids through runway and catches fire in Russia

The Utair plane was carrying 164 passengers and six crew members

The Utair-operated Boeing 737-800 which skidded off the runway and caught fire during landing, at Sochi international airport. AP Photo
The Utair-operated Boeing 737-800 which skidded off the runway and caught fire during landing, at Sochi international airport. AP Photo

A Russian passenger plane ran off an airport runway outside Russia's southern city of Sochi early on Saturday and caught fire, injuring 18 people.

Russia's Healthcare Ministry said 18 people were injured but said there were no fatalities. State news agency RIA said one Sochi airport staff member died during the clean-up operations.

Utair's Boeing 737-800, carrying 164 passengers and six crew members from Moscow to Sochi, did not brake in time after landing, RIA reported, citing local emergency services.

The aircraft had landed in heavy rain and with a strong tail wind, Russian civil aviation official Oleg Smirnov told state television channel Rossiya24, which showed images of the aircraft with damaged engines and wings.

A plume of smoke rises from flames after an Utair Boeing 737-800 passenger plane operating as flight UT579 made a rough landing and caught fire in Sochi, Russia, September 1, 2018, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. Social Media/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
A plume of smoke rises from flames after the Utair Boeing 737-800 passenger plane made a rough landing and caught fire in Sochi. Reuters

Sochi airport said on its website that the aircraft fire that erupted was extinguished in eight minutes and all those on board were evacuated within 17 minutes.

Russia's flight safety watchdog will conduct an assessment of Sochi airport and Utair, Rossiya24 channel reported.

Safety concerns have plagued Russia's airline industry, which has witnessed multiple fatal crashes in recent years.

In June, a Utair plane carrying Peruvian football fans from the World Cup city of Ekaterinburg to Tyumen in Siberia had to land due to an engine failure that caused the cabin to fill with smoke.

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