Moscow — A passenger jet made an emergency landing in a field outside of one of Moscow’s airports after colliding with a flock of birds, injuring dozens of people, Russian officials said Thursday. The Ural Airlines A321 carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven hit the birds as it took off Thursday from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport en route for Simferopol, in Crimea.
The airline said in a statement that the birds got into both of the plane’s engines, causing them to malfunction. The pilot then made an emergency landing in a cornfield about half a mile from the airport.Russia’s Ministry of Health said 55 people received medical assistance on the scene and 29 were taken to an area hospital, including 10 children and one pregnant woman. Only one woman was kept hospitalized, however, and her condition was assessed as moderate.
Ural Airlines lauded the crew for its professionalism in arranging the evacuation. The company said the captain is a highly experienced pilot who had flown over over 3,000 hours.Footage from the scene showed the flight commander directing the passengers to walk away from the plane across the cornfield.