230 passengers rescued by landing emergency, the pilot received hero status

  • The aircraft’s engine caught fire after it collided with a bird
  • The plane had 233 passengers, 23 injured in the accident

A Russian passenger jet flew into a flock of birds then crash-landed in a cornfield just outside a Moscow airport Thursday, according to Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.

The Ural Airlines Airbus A321 was carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport to Simferopol — a city on the Crimean Peninsula — when it ran into trouble.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane “collided with a flock of gulls,” according to a statement from the agency.

The emergency landing took place in a field less than a kilometer (0.62 miles) away from the airport’s runway.

Up to 55 passengers, including 17 children, have been given medical attention, Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing a source in the Regional Center for Disaster Medicine. Six have been hospitalized, it said.

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