Three terrified passengers who saw flames shooting from a jet engine opened an emergency door of a Boeing 737-46M – and stepped out onto the wing – as the aircraft was taxiing.
They claimed the crew had ignored their shouts of “fire” and the panic on board as the Russian domestic service prepared to take off from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to Makhachkala.
The three – including a woman – were all doctors.
They were later “detained” for questioning despite saying they followed the airline Utair’s own instructions as they sat in an emergency door row.
A scary video shows flames spitting out of the plane’s right-side engine with the terminal buildings visible.
A pre-recorded safety instruction in English is heard telling passengers to read the on-board safety card.
But passengers claimed they had no orders from the crew on how to respond.
Reports say there was panic on-board with some passengers falling as they tried to flee a plane they believed to be on fire.
The crew evidently told passengers not to panic and claimed the situation was “normal”.
Flight attendants eventually persuaded the passengers to come back inside the aircraft.
The flame was caused by the disrupted air flow during the engine start as the plane was preparing for take-off, Utair’s press secretary told Russian RBC news service.
“This was an ordinary situation, the plane was in order, passengers were in no danger,” he said.
Despite this the passengers were disembarked and another aircraft was readied to make the flight minus the three who stepped onto the wing.
They were held for questioning.
“We saw in the news that all passengers were moved to another plane and continued the flight – well, not all,” one of the medics said.
“Myself and two of my colleagues were taken off the flight and are still detained because of some kind of a service check.
“This happened because we sat next to an emergency exit and when the panic started, when people started to run, squashing each other, when they began screaming and yelling, in order to pacify them and to stop the panic we opened the emergency exit.
“Just imagine it yourself, we all know what panic looks like.”
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