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Russian plane catches fire in Thailand after official claims country’s planes are safe

Russian plane catches fire in Thailand after official claims country’s planes are safe

Passengers had a fright on Sunday as they heard two loud bangs and saw smoke billowing from the fuselage as their plane sped up for take-off.

The Boeing 767, operated by Russian airline Azur Air, reportedly blew its right engine, forcing the pilot to abort take-off from Phuket, Thailand..

Terrified travellers filmed the flashes of flame and smoke emerging from beneath the wing as the plane slowed to a halt.

Some 309 passengers and 12 crew members were onboard the Moscow-bound flight, which was safely evacuated at Phuket International Airport.

Those onboard reported hearing “two explosions” as the aircraft sped up the runway. “At first the takeoff was normal,” a passenger told Russian news source Izvestia.

“But then there was a surge and I heard the sound of crackling.

“When passengers left the plane, it was clear that the landing gear of the aircraft was damaged.”

It comes after the head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko, said he is confident that sanctions imposed on the supply of spare plane parts had not affected flight safety in the country.

“Everyone who is responsible for aviation in our country made timely and correct decisions in response to the actions of those who joined the sanctions,” said Mr Neradko.

“I am confident that it has not become more dangerous to fly – and it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of original spare parts,” he added.

He condemned the use of the term “cannibalisation” for the way Russia is reusing spare parts from other aircraft during the sanctions, saying it “appeared at the behest of those who have never worked in civil aviation and who are unaware of the fact that the practice of interchanging serviceable spare parts from jet to jet has always been widespread, even during the Soviet times.”

“Airline technical specialists have already started work to eliminate the malfunctions,” said Azur Air in a statement to The Sun.

“Passengers of flight ZF-3604 will be provided with a hotel, hot meals and soft drinks while waiting for departure to Moscow.”

The Independent has approached Azur Air for further comment.

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