A passenger jet made an emergency landing in a field outside of one of Moscow’s airports, injuring at least 23 people, Russian officials said.
The Ural Airlines Airbus A321 was bound for Crimea and carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven when it struck a flock of birds while taking off from Moscow’s Zhukovsky International Airport on Thursday.
The aircraft’s engines malfunctioned after the collision and the pilot made an emergency landing -- without landing gear or thrust -- in a cornfield about 1 kilometre from the airport.
The Russian health authorities said 23 people, including five children, were taken to hospital.
News website Life.ru posted footage of people walking through the cornfield away from the plane.
Later on Thursday, the Kremlin announced it would bestow state awards on the two pilots who were in charge of the plane.
"We congratulate the hero pilots who saved people's lives," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The crew displayed "fantastic skills and self-control. The captain was a Yekaterinburg resident Damir Yusupov. He and his crew saved 223 lives. Heroes,” Sverdlovsk region Governor Evgeny Kuyvashev wrote on Instagram.
In May, a Sukhoi Superjet-100 plane caught fire upon landing in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, killing 41 of 73 on board.