Passenger saw plane break up as it landed in Moscow
A passenger on board the plane that broke up while making an emergency landing in Moscow Saturday, killing two and injuring more than 50, told AFP how he saw the plane come apart on landing.
Gamzat Guitinomagomedov was a passenger on flight 372 from Vnukovo airport, returning to his home in Makhachkala in the Russian Caucasus region of Dagestan, after working in Moscow.
He recalled his experiences while sitting with around 30 passengers in Domodedovo airport, where the plane made the emergency landing. They looked haggard and still smelt strongly of kerosene.
"Everything went normal for the first 30 minutes," Guitinomagomedov said, although he noted the plane was shabby.
"Of course it was not a very new plane, we saw that the seatbelts said they should be used before 2003, but it was not worse than usual," he said.
"Suddenly we felt the plane had problems. Strange things happened: it rocked from side to side. It made a sharp turn and began to descend."
"No one told us anything, people did not understand what was going on. But there was no panic," he said.
"As we landed, we thought we were safe, but the landing was very rough, and then there was a big shock as we hit something," he added.
"I was sitting in the middle. The plane broke in two about four or five seats in front of me as if it had been cut, completely. And everything stopped."
While Guitinomagomedov himself was not injured, those further forward were not so lucky.
"We saw the people who were over there, they had broken legs, blood everywhere."
Passengers initially feared a fire as fuel spilled from the plane, he said.
"There was kerosene everywhere. Luckily the firefighters arrived quickly with engines and sprayed everything with a special liquid," he said.
"Those who could, got up and began getting out. Those at the back through the door. We got out through the hole in the fuselage."
© 2010 AFP