UTair Boeing 737 Skids off the Runway and Slids into Riverbed

Photo: Пресс-служба Южной транспортной прокуратуры

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Early on Saturday, UTair-operated Boeing 737, going from Moscow, skidded off the runway during rough landing in the Russian city of Sochi, slid into a river and eventually caught fire.

The aircraft was evacuated, 18 occupants were injured, the others remained unhurt, one airport worker died of a heart attack. The aircraft received substantial damage beyond repair.

“At the moment, there are 18 injured, including three children. There are no fatalities,” Russia’s Ministry of Health said in a statement. The blaze has been put out, local emergency services said.

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It took the Utair plane two attempts to land in Sochi, southern Russia, with strong wind and rain the likely cause of the failed first attempt. When the crew managed to land the plane, it overshot the runway and hit a fence.

After crashing through the fence, the plane plunged into a riverbed. The impact destroyed a wheel stand and one of the wings, and caused the left engine to catch fire, an Utair spokesman told RIA Novosti.

“Three urgent checks will be carried out: of the UTair airline, the airport of Sochi and air traffic controlling bodies,” Rostransnadzor’s representative said.