Smoke engulfs Boeing 737 cockpit, passengers evacuated

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A Boeing 737 plane belonging to Russia’s Nordwind Airlines cancelled its takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on Friday after a sensor went off indicating that there was smoke inside the cockpit, the Moscow Region branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said Friday.

The flight was bound for Armenian capital Yerevan.

The airline explained why the flight was aborted: “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 company said.

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.

There were 187 people on board the plane, and all passengers were evacuated after the accident with eight people injured in the process, the Moscow Region branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told Sputnik.

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According to airport authorities, eight passengers sustained moderate wounds during the evacuation, while two were hospitalised.

The Federal Agency for Air Transport said it had formed a special commission to investigate the circumstances and reasons behind the incident.

Later on Friday, a spokesperson for Sheremetyevo International Airport said that 28 people had refused to take a backup flight to Armenia. The others decided to embark on the journey.

In May, an SSJ100, bound for the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk, caught fire upon making an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport following an on-board electronics failure that it experienced less than 30 minutes after take-off. The accident saw 41 of the 78 people aboard killed.

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