Moscow plane inferno survivor accused of blocking others from escaping by retrieving luggage
Dmitry Khlebushkin sparked fury from passengers who said they were blocked by people retrieving luggage after a Superjet plane failed to land properly in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport last night
A survivor of the deadly Moscow air disaster has sparked outrage after he was seen walking from the airport with a backpack he salvaged from the burning plane. According to several claims, he had blocked other passengers from escaping.
While relatives of 41 victims of the disaster mourned their loss, Dmitry Khlebushkin demanded a refund from Aeroflot and complained about his treatment by staff as he departed Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport last night, the Daily Mail reported. Several passengers were seen retrieving their luggage while others tried to flee. Meanwhile, the "overweight" Russian became a focal point of anger due to his actions.
Local media outlets claimed only three passengers sitting behind Khlebushkin survived the inferno. He was sitting in seat 10C of the aircraft. Stewardess Tatyana Kasatkina, 34, was applauded for her bravery after she kicked open an exit door as the fire raged, grabbed passengers by their collars and pushed them out of the burning fuselage.
On the other hand, flight attendant Maxim Moissev died trying to open a door at the rear of the plane. The doomed Russian plane was seen in terrifying new footage bouncing down the runway before bursting into a fireball.
The Superjet plane was captured in security footage flicking off the tarmac, collapsing to the ground, and blazing along the runway trailed by a huge cloud of smoke behind it. That said, Russian authorities are still trying to determine the cause behind the tragedy.
They have suggested three possible explanations: Equipment failure, insufficient pilot qualifications, and turbulent weather. However, they do not plan on grounding the type of aircraft.
Investigators will be able to examine what went wrong aboard the plane after probing both flight recorders that were recovered from the debris. According to pilot Denis Evdokimov and some survivors, the plane had been hit by lightning.
One social media user commented on Khlebushkin, saying, "He saved his backpack. And he is looking really great, knowing that everyone further back than the 11th row died." While another wrote, "The first passengers tried to throw out their bags from the cabin and then to slide down. This is why there are delays."
"That fat man from the video who was angry that he did not get a refund within 40 minutes – he surely took his bag from the overhead compartment despite all the other people," added another.
However, the survivor was unrepentant and demanded a full refund for the flight. Furthermore, he went on to say the airline "consists of heartless and unprofessional people."
At least 41 people, including two children and one crew member, lost their lives in the raging flames that engulfed the Aeroflot plane on Sunday. Identities of the victims are emerging one by one. Authorities identified among the victims American Jeremy Brooks, who died on board, while two Russian victims have been identified as Albina Pilipchuk and Alexey Gultaichuk.
That said, the majority of the casualties are expected to be Russians as it was a domestic flight from Moscow to the Arctic Circle city of Murmansk.