'Strange-smelling' Yerevan-bound flight evacuated at Moscow airport
Eight passengers were injured during evacuation, ordered when smoke filled the cabin of a plane at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, a spokesperson for the Moscow Region’s emergencies service said.
"Eight people were injured while evacuating with the help of inflatable slides," the source said, adding that two of them were hospitalized.
Another emergencies source said that none of the injured was diagnosed with serious wounds.
"There are no children among the injured. The majority of them received scratches and bruises. One person was hospitalized with a dislocated ankle, the other - with a hypertensive emergency," TASS cited him as saying.
"While the Boeing-747 en route to Yerevan was taxiing to the runway, the crew signaled about smoke in the cabin," the Moscow region emergencies service said.
Pilots cancelled the takeoff, passengers were evacuated and taken to the airport.
According to rescuers, there were 187 people on board the Nordwind Airlines flight. However, the Sheremetyevo Airport’s press service said the plane had 173 passengers and 6 crew members. All of them were taken to the airport’s Terminal F, where they received hot meals and necessary assistance.
The emergency response efforts are now over, the Sheremetyevo Airport’s press service said.
Rescuers found no signs of fire or smoke in the cabin.
"At 00:45 Moscow time, strange smell was reported in the cabin as flight N4-477 SVO-EVN B738 (VPBSZ) was accelerating on the runway. The crew aborted the takeoff, left the runway, turned off the engines and organized the evacuation of passengers (162 adults, 11 children) using inflatable slides," the air carrier said in a statement on its website.
According to the Sheremetyevo Airport’s online schedule, flight N4-477 departed at 05:19 and is expected to arrive to Armenia’s capital Yerevan at 09:00 Moscow time.
"145 passengers were registered for the flight, 28 decided to cancel their journey, including the two passengers who were admitted to a hospital," the Sheremetyevo press service said.
Russia’s civil aviation watchdog, Rosaviatsiya, said the captain’s decision to abort the takeoff was justified. "The pilot-in-command made a grounded decision to abort the takeoff, leaving the runway vacant," the watchdog said in a statement.
"In order to investigate the causes and circumstances of this air incident, a special Rosaviatsiya commission has been created. The commission has begun its work," the federal agency said.
A civil aviation source said that the plane underwent all the required pre-flight checks and was deemed ready for the flight.
"The plane underwent all pre-flight procedures. There were no concerns about its technical condition," the source said. "It is now being established where the smoke in the cabin came from.".