by AFP/ pic by AFP
MOSCOW – A Russian Airbus with more than 230 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing in a corn field outside Moscow on Thursday after hitting a flock of seagulls, officials said.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
The Ural Airlines A321 was carrying 226 passengers and seven crew from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport to Simferopol in Russia-annexed Crimea, the Rosaviatsia air transport agency said in a statement.
The bird strike occurred shortly after take-off, causing engine trouble, and the crew decided to immediately land.
The plane landed in the corn field about a kilometre from the runway, with its engines off and landing gear retracted, Rosaviatsia said.
Passengers were evacuated on inflatable ramps, with some taken to hospital and others back to the airport.
The health ministry said 23 people were hospitalised, including nine children, but that none suffered serious injuries.