At least one person died and several others were wounded after a passenger plane caught fire during an emergency landing at Moscow’s busiest airport, Russian state news agencies said Sunday.
“Based on current information, one person has died and four people need medical attention” after the plane erupted in flames as it tried to land at Sheremetyevo airport, the TASS agency quoted Russian investigators as saying.
Russian television showed huge black columns of smoke towering over the plane. Other videos shared on social media showed the aircraft ablaze as it attempted to land, then passengers leaving by a forward door.
The Interfax agency reported that the plane, a Russian-made Superjet-100, had just taken off from Sheremetyevo on a domestic route when the crew issued a distress signal.
“It attempted an emergency landing but did not succeed the first time, and on the second time the landing gear hit (the ground), then the nose did, and it caught fire,” a source told Interfax.
According to the Ria Novosti news agency, the plane had been headed to the far northwest city of Murmansk in Russia. It said initial indications suggested an electrical fault might have caused the fire while the plane was in the air.
Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal probe into a possible breach of security rules.
Investigators have recovered one of two black box recorders on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed just outside Addis Ababa Sunday, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew, Ethiopian state media reported.
Investigators recovered a body from the wreckage of a plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in the Channel and transported it to Britain on Thursday for identification.
Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also said that bad weather meant they were not able to recover the plane and it was, therefore, closing down the operation.
The light aircraft was carrying the 28-year-old footballer to his new Premier League team Cardiff City when it disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on January 21, along with 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.
Sala’s disappearance prompted outpourings of grief across the footballing world, including at his former club Nantes in France where the plane was flying from.
After search operations were suspended, a shipwreck hunter hired by Sala’s family with funds donated by football stars such as Lionel Messi found the wreckage on Sunday.
The AAIB, who then took over the operation, revealed on Monday that an unidentified body had been found at the site.
“In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage,” the AAIB said Wednesday.
“The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress.”
But it added: “The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close”.
It said that extensive video footage captured by a remotely operated vehicle is expected to “provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation,” adding that it intends to publish an interim report on the accident later this month.
The recovered body was taken to the Isle of Portland in southern England on board the Geo Ocean III offshore supply ship and will be now be passed to the coroner in the county of Dorset for identification.
Sala was flying to join up with Cardiff City in what was the most expensive signing in the Welsh club’s history.
Nantes have consulted lawyers to explore legal options to ensure Cardiff pay the transfer fee for Sala, a source close to the French club revealed on Wednesday.
According to the source, the first instalment of the 17-million-euro ($19.3 million) deal for the Argentine striker has yet to be paid, despite the transfer being finalised before the accident.
Nantes would also consider taking the case to FIFA, the source added. The club has not yet responded to a request for comment by AFP.
According to BBC Wales, Nantes have given Cardiff a 10-day ultimatum over the first payment of between five and six million euros.
A source at Cardiff told British media that the Welsh club will honour the contract but only once they have clarified “all the facts”. Cardiff are said to be “surprised” with the timing of the demand so soon after the tragedy.
The plane, a Piper PA-46 Malibu, vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey, with pilot Ibbotson the only other person aboard.
After the official rescue team gave up their search, saying there was little chance of finding anyone alive, Sala’s family raised more than 370,000 euros ($422,000) in an online campaign to pay for a private hunt.
“Had that not happened, I don’t think anybody would have searched for the plane,” shipwreck hunter David Mearns, whose private company found the plane, told AFP.
The discovery of two seat cushions on the French coast last week revealed that the plane was broken, Mearns added.
Earlier this week Sala’s father, Horacio Sala, acknowledged that there was no prospect of finding his son alive.
“There’s no longer any hope,” he told Fox Sports.
“We hope the two bodies are inside (the plane). It’s over, the only thing I hope now is that they find them.”
Argentine football star Emiliano Sala’s father Sunday was awakened from a sound sleep to learn that the plane in which his son was killed, has been found.
“I can’t believe it. It’s a bad dream,” Horacio Sala said when contacted by Cronica TV at his home in Progreso.
He was the only one to stay behind in Argentina when the family rushed to Nantes, France to try to help with the search.
“I talk to them every day. But since I don’t have WhatsApp it’s expensive to call them or for them to call me. But anyway, they kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero words on Emiliano, or on the plane,” his father said.
The missing plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot has been found, investigators said on Sunday.
Sala, 28, was travelling from France to join up with his new club, Premier League side Cardiff City, in a light aircraft manned by David Ibbotson on January 21 when it disappeared close to the Channel Islands.
Tributes were paid to the striker on both sides of the Channel over the weekend as hopes faded he would be found alive, and Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) on Sunday told AFP the plane’s wreckage had been discovered.
“I can confirm it has been found,” a spokesperson said, adding a statement would be issued on Monday.
Sala’s father Horacio spoke of his shock from his home in Progresso, Argentina, telling Cronica TV: “I can’t believe it. It’s a bad dream.”
Horacio was the only member of the Sala family to stay behind in Argentina as the others rushed to France to try to help with the search.
“I talk to them every day. But since I don’t have WhatsApp it’s expensive to call them or for them to call me. But anyway, they kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane,” he said.
Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline in France last Wednesday.
Sala was travelling in the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane after transferring from French team Nantes in a 17 million euro ($19.3 million) move — a record deal for the Welsh team.
It vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey, with pilot Ibbotson the only other person aboard.
David Mearns, whose private company, Blue Water Recoveries, was hired by Sala’s family to search for the plane, said on Twitter that the wreckage was spotted early Sunday.
“There’s a substantial amount of wreckage on the seabed,” he wrote, adding: “This is about the best result we could have hoped for the families.”
Top footballers were among more than 4,500 contributors to a crowdfunding page that raised over 300,000 euros ($343,000) to look for the wreckage.
Speaking after Cardiff’s match against Bournemouth on Saturday, manager Neil Warnock said Sala would have been “really proud” of the team after they won 2-0 in their first home match since the plane vanished.
Programme notes, penned by owner Vincent Tan and the rest of the Bluebirds’ board, said events had shaken “Cardiff City to its very core” and that they were now playing for Sala and pilot Ibbotson.
There were a series of heartfelt tributes before kick-off, with Sala’s photograph appearing on the front cover of the matchday programme and the two captains laid floral tributes on the halfway line before what the club called a “silent reflection”.
Sala’s name, in the Argentina colours, was also spelt out behind one of the goals as supporters held cards aloft.
The search will be conducted “in close coordination” with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), with two vessels scouring around four square nautical miles of sea bed north of the Channel island of Guernsey.
Sala was flying in the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane after transferring from French team Nantes in a 17-million-euro ($19.3-million) move.
It vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey, with pilot Dave Ibbotson the only other person aboard.
Rescue workers suspended the official search for the aircraft last Thursday after an intensive hunt involving planes and boats failed to locate it.
Rescue workers on Thursday spent a third day hunting for a missing plane near the British island of Guernsey carrying new Premier League player Emiliano Sala, who is now presumed dead along with the pilot.
The light aircraft transporting the Argentine striker, who signed for Cardiff City at the weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.
“The search is ongoing and a decision about continuing will be made once all assets have completed this morning’s search pattern,” Guernsey police said on Twitter at 1050 GMT.
Police on the island, which sits off the north coast of France, had earlier announced a resumption of the search after suspending efforts overnight.
Officials scoured the uninhabited island of Burhou, northeast of Guernsey, by foot Thursday morning, according to the force.
“No trace of the aircraft or those on board has been found,” it added.
Multiple aircraft, including from Britain and France, and lifeboats were used in the intensive search on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A pilot involved in the operations said there was now “no chance” of finding survivors.
Mike Tidd, from Channel Islands Air Search — a voluntary rescue service for local waters — told Britain’s ITV: “The area has been very well covered, there is absolutely no chance of finding anybody alive now.”
He added that the most rescuers could hope to do was “pinpoint where the aircraft went in”.
‘It’s going to fall apart’
Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff in a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft.
Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is probing the disappearance, said the plane was registered in the United States.
It has emerged the Argentine footballer expressed concerns about the jet on the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.
“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart,” the 28-year-old said in a rambling WhatsApp audio message from on board.
Police earlier said rescuers had spotted “a number of floating objects in the water” but had not been able to confirm whether these were linked to the plane.
The Guernsey coastguard on Wednesday named the pilot, the only other person in the plane, as David Ibbotson.
British media said he was a 60-year-old married father of three and lived in Scunthorpe in northern England.
Football agent Mark McKay confirmed Thursday he was involved in making the travel arrangements for Sala between France and Wales through the player and his agent Meissa N’Diaye.
“I began to look into arranging a private flight to take him to Nantes on Saturday morning,” he told Britain’s Sky Sports News.
“That evening, it was confirmed a plane was available to fly Emiliano on Saturday which could remain in Nantes until he was due to return to Cardiff.
“I have been in contact with officials from Cardiff and the player’s agent over these difficult past few days and will continue to do so.”
In Sala’s Argentine hometown of Progreso, his father Horacio told the press on Tuesday that as “the hours go by and I don’t know anything, it makes me fear the worst”.
The striker, who had been at Nantes since 2015 and had scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.
The club called off Tuesday’s training session, and stunned supporters laid flowers and scarves outside the club’s stadium.
Tributes were paid to Sala at several French Cup matches this week, while his former Nantes teammate Yacine Bammou pointed towards the sky in an emotional celebration after scoring for Caen on Wednesday.
A military cargo plane overshot a runway, crashed and caught fire during a botched landing near the Iranian capital Tehran, killing 15 people, the army said Monday.
The plane was carrying meat from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan when it crashed near the capital Tehran, an army spokesman told state TV, adding that only the flight engineer survived.
“The plane had 16 passengers, 14 of whom were the army crew and two were civilians; 15 were martyred,” spokesman Amir Taghikhani said. “One, the flight engineer, was injured and is currently in hospital.”
The charred remains of a plane’s fuselage with Iranian Air Force colours, its nose wedged through the wall of what appeared to be a house, were seen in photographs obtained by AFP.
Wreckage including a landing gear and a mangled jet engine were scattered nearby.
“A (Boeing) cargo 707 place carrying meat took off from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and had an emergency landing at Fath airport this morning,” the army said earlier in a statement on its website.
“It exited the runway during the landing and caught fire after hitting the wall at the end of the runway.”
Fath airport is in Alborz province, just northwest of Tehran.
The Fars news agency, considered close to the military, earlier said there were 16 people onboard and that only the flight engineer had survived.
State broadcaster IRIB showed footage of burning wreckage.
Investigators found a black box from the plane, which will provide more details about the crash, deputy Alborz governor Azizollah Shahbazi told Tasnim news agency.
Pictures published by local media showed the charred carcasses of the animals on board, still smouldering inside one of the buildings the plane smashed into.
Fars carried a video showing emergency teams cutting through the aircraft’s nose, which had penetrated what it said was an empty residential complex.
Iran’s ageing air fleet has had a string of crashes in recent years.
Iran’s Aseman Airlines was ordered to ground its fleet of ATR planes in February last year after one of them crashed in the Zagros mountains, killing all 66 people onboard.
Iran has been subject to tough US sanctions for years, hindering the purchase of new aeroplanes and critical spare parts for the US-made planes in its air force, civilian flag carrier Iran Air and domestic airlines.
Hopes for a change in the situation were dashed last May when Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear programme, reimposing sanctions that had been lifted as part of the multilateral accord.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to arrive in Buenos Aires on Friday evening, far later than planned but still in time to attend a G20 dinner after “serious” technical problems forced her plane to make an emergency landing.
The government Airbus A340-300 made an unscheduled landing in Cologne shortly after leaving Berlin on Thursday, causing a delay that means Merkel will miss the start of the two-day G20 summit in the Argentine capital.
“It was a serious malfunction,” Merkel, who had to spend the night in a hotel in nearby Bonn because no replacement plane was immediately available, told reporters.
German media reports said the plane suffered a complete breakdown of the on-board communication system, a problem described as extremely rare.
The German air force ruled out sabotage, with a spokesman saying “there is absolutely no indication of a criminal act.”
Merkel will now travel to the G20 with a vastly slimmed-down delegation.
The group flew to Madrid in a German air force plane in the early morning, a government spokeswoman told DPA.
From there, the delegation is set to board a regular commercial flight to Buenos Aires.
Merkel was due to hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Donald Trump on the sidelines of the summit on Friday, but her delayed arrival has thrown her schedule into disarray.
She will also miss the traditional G20 “family photo” of attending heads of state and government, according to DPA.
A plane carrying US First Lady Melania Trump was forced to turn back on Wednesday after smoke appeared in the cabin, journalists on the flight said.
She was on her way from Washington to Philadelphia when there was “a minor mechanical issue,” according to her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
“Everything is fine and everyone is safe,” Grisham said in a statement.
The airplane returned to Joint Base Andrews, an air force facility used by the White House outside Washington, DC.
CNN and other US networks said that reporters aboard the plane noticed smoke in the cabin and were told to hold wet towels over their faces if it got worse.
The smoke dissipated and the aircraft returned without further incident.
Trump was on her way to visit a Philadelphia hospital specializing in the treatment of mothers with opioid use disorders and babies born with addictions to drugs they were exposed to while still in the womb.