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At least 40 dead after plane makes fiery emergency landing in Moscow

Harrowing video showed passengers leaping from the burning aircraft onto an inflatable slide and staggering across tarmac and grass.
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At least 40 people are dead after an Aeroflot passenger plane made a fiery emergency landing in Moscow on Sunday, Russian authorities said.

Officials gave conflicting death tolls after the Sukhoi Superjet-100 landed at Sheremetyevo Airport, the Associated Press reported.

A spokeswoman with Russia’s Investigative Committee said 41 people had died on the plane with 78 passengers — leaving 37 survivors — while the country's health minister said there were 38 survivors.

Earlier, the committee said in a statement that 13 people had died, including two children. It did not provide additional details about the victims, but said authorities would soon begin interviewing witnesses, airline workers and airport staff to determine why the emergency landing occurred.

In a statement, the airport said the flight had taken off just after 6 p.m. local time for the northern city of Murmansk, but returned to Sheremetyevo after the crew reported an unspecified “malfunction.”

A half hour later, the jet made a “hard landing” that caused the fire, the statement said.

The aircraft tracking service Flightradar24 said that just minutes after takeoff, the jet reported a communications failure. A few minutes before landing, that failure was changed to a general emergency, the site reported.

Dramatic video from the scene showed the aircraft barreling down the runway engulfed in flames and passengers leaping from the wreckage onto an inflatable slide.

One apparent passenger captured video showing people clinging to their luggage as emergency vehicles sped toward the jet.

Writing on Instagram, the person said that he'd managed to jump out of the plane and was “alive and safe.”

The airline said the evacuation was carried out in 55 seconds.

The crew "did everything to save the passengers," Aeroflot said in a statement.